BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Texas authorities have been on the lookout for two adults linked to a case involving the injury of a child, and as of Tuesday, October 18, officials say the two have been captured in Louisiana.
The case unfolded in Texas where, according to Ted Heap, Harris County Constable of Precinct 5, the biological mother of five children and her boyfriend were both charged with injury to a child (first-degree felony).
Shortly after this, the couple allegedly fled Texas with all five of the children.
The mother, identified as Zaikiya Duncan, and her boyfriend, Jova Terrell, were listed as suspects in the Tuesday afternoon Amber Alert issued by Texas authorities.
Around 5:30 p.m., the Harris County Constable’s Office announced that both Duncan and Terrell had been captured by Louisiana State Police (LSP).
LSP confirmed this with BRProud, stating, “Troopers did take two individuals into custody relating to an amber alert out of Texas.”
The Constable’s Office added that the couple was found with only one of Duncan’s five children.
The two told police they’d dropped the other children off at a relative’s house, a claim authorities say they’re in the process of confirming.
Apparently, Duncan had ties to Baton Rouge and a history of at least one arrest in East Baton Rouge Parish that was related to child abuse.
According to a 2012 article in The Advocate, Duncan was living in Baton Rouge when she and her then-husband, Nicholas Menia, were both arrested and charged with cruelty to juveniles.
The Advocate said an official document related to the arrest claimed that, “one of the couple’s children was sent to Our Lady of the Lake Medical Center’s Pediatric Burn Unit by school officials for treatment of injuries — including burns to both feet, genitalia and buttocks and bruising to several places on the child’s body.”
The article went on to say Duncan allegedly told deputies with the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office (EBRSO) she and her husband typically disciplined one of their children by forcing the youngster to maintain a ‘push up position’ for one hour, which would make the child’s hand swell.
It then added that Duncan allegedly said she never physically hurt this child, but she did force the youngster to sleep on a closet floor with boards placed in front of the door to keep them from “escaping” and “stealing food” from the kitchen.
According to The Advocate, shortly after this arrest, some of Duncan’s children were placed into the custody of the state.
Now that Duncan and her current boyfriend have been apprehended by LSP, readers will be updated as authorities provide additional information related to the case.