PALATKA, Fla. - Two parents were arrested when deputies found their 1-year-old twin sons tied up inside their home Monday morning, according to the Putnam County Sheriff's Office.
Putnam County deputies went to the home in the 200 block of Peniel Church Road in Palatka at about 11 a.m. regarding an investigation by the Clay County Sheriff's Office.
Deputies said that when they arrived, 22-year-old Kaitlynn Turner met them at the gate to the property. While they talked with her, they saw a man looking out the window of the home, deputies said.
Turner told the deputies the man was her husband, 24-year-old Michael Turner, and not the person they were seeking with the warrant.
Kaitlynn invited the deputies inside to verify her husband's identity, and when deputies walked in, they said, they found the twins tied up. Deputies said one boy was face down with his hands tied behind his back, and the other was on his back with his legs tied. Both boys had numerous bruises, deputies said.
They said a 2-year-old boy was also found in the home but was not bound.
One of the twins was taken to Putnam County Medical Center. All three children have been placed into the custody and care of the Florida Department of Children and Families.
"The children have been taken to a medical facility for check-ups," John Harrell with DCF said. "One of the children, a one-year-old, one of the one-year-olds has been hospitalized."
Harrell said finding out exactly what happened will be difficult, considering the children involved are so young and cannot speak.
"When you have children who are under two, they can't speak for themselves. So first off, because they are going to be able to examine these children and see if there are any prior bruises, any unhealed bruises, that's especially important," he said. "But also this goes into play when you are talking about children who are not old enough to speak for themselves. They need someone to speak for them."
He said especially with young children who cannot speak up for themselves, a neighbor or family friend reporting such an incident is doubly important.
"If you're a parent and you see some children in the neighborhood who may be acting different, they've got unexplained bruises or scars, maybe you haven't seen them for a while. Maybe you see the parents but you don't see the children, depending on the situation, maybe not a bad idea to talk to the family and see if everything is okay."
Kaitlynn's mother, Kristie Power, said she went to the Turner's house trying to find her grandsons.
"I don't know what else to say, I'm just concerned about the grandchildren," Power said.
Power said she had no idea what was going on inside her daughter's house, but said she and her husband had an unhealthy relationship. A neighbor, Casey Close, agrees.
"They moved in here recently, away from a buddy of mine's house, and there's been a problem or two since they've been here," Close said. "I don't like it. Hopefully the kids get taken to a good place and don't have to go through that again. It's absolutely horrible for anyone to do to their children."
After being interviewed by detectives, both Kaitlynn and Michael Turner, who are the biological parents of all three children, were arrested and booked into the Putnam County Jail, where they are each being held on two counts of aggravated child abuse and two counts of child neglect with a total bail set at $15,016.
Harrell said the only way for DCF to know about abuse or neglect is if someone reports it to them. To contact DCF's abuse hotline, call 1-800-962-ABUSE (2873).
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