This booking photo provided by the Hays County, Texas, Sheriff's Office shows Dane Thyssen. The Dripping Springs Police say Thyssen and his wife, Jenifer Thyssen, kept their adopted son, 22-year-old Koystya Thyssen, locked in a garage apartment for at least four years, periodically giving him a box of food and allowing him to leave once a week. / AP photo, courtesy Hays County Sheriff
DRIPPING SPRINGS, Texas -- A Texas couple accused of keeping their adopted son locked up in a garage apartment for at least the past four years said they had to keep him captive to protect their own children.
Jenifer Thyssen, 40, and her husband, Dane Thyssen, 39, are accused of kidnapping. The couple was arrested earlier this week. They appeared in court Friday to argue that their $350,000 bond should be lowered.
Hays County sheriff's deputies say the couple told them they confined 22-year-old Koystya Thyssen in an apartment at their home in Dripping Springs "for the safety" of their other children, according to the arrest affidavit. Dripping Springs, a town of around 1,900 residents, is about 20 miles west of Austin.
Court documents don't indicate how many children were in the couple's care. In testimony Friday, Dane Thyssen indicated the couple had six children
Koystya was arrested after admitting he had burglarized a next door neighbor's house, according to a Hays County detective.
Koystya told detectives he used a screwdriver to break out of the garage apartment next door where he was kept locked inside.
Sheriff's deputies said the apartment had a toilet, sink and microwave, and that Koystya Thyssen told them his adoptive parents gave him a box of dry and frozen foods once a week. He said he was allowed to leave once a week to see a counselor, but was otherwise confined to the apartment.
Koystya told detectives he believes it's wrong how he was treated, and he had no other family or friends in the United States.
The affidavit does not indicate where he is from originally.
He was being held at the county jail Friday on a burglary of a habitation charge. His bond was set at $10,000. No attorney was listed for him.
Contributing: The Associated Press
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