2 kids allegedly held in squalid rooms

LANCASTER The children's uncle Michael Johnson, 63, and Tamara Roose, 41, are accused of locking up children. They are the caretakers because the children's parents and grandmother are deceased.

An 11-year-old girl told her principal that she and her 14-year-old brother were locked inside a filthy room for long periods of time. Sometimes they were let out to do their chores, go to school or eat, but they weren't always allowed to go out to use the bathroom.

The deputies say they found the boy in the room Thursday in squalid conditions.

Relatives living in the house tell a different story. They said the 11-year-old is lying, and said the locks are for discipline and to crack down on unruly behavior.

"The male child was locked in his bedroom when they went there. The stench of urine was overwhelming," said Sgt. Theresa Dawson from the L.A. County Sheriff's Department.

The case is still under investigation, and Johnson and Roose are being held on $100,000 bail.


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