Police: The parents did things that made them feel isolated and not in control

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Police: The parents did things that made them feel isolated and not in control

By Taylor Higgins, Ina Ronquillo. CREATED Nov 27, 2013 - UPDATED: Nov 27, 2013

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - UPDATE: New details emerging from court documents about the conditions inside the family home. The girls were fed once a day, typically from a five gallon bucket of noodles kept in the fridge.

The girls would put on a black cap and raise their hand when they needed to go to the restroom. Parents would monitor them on video surveillance. They'd be ushered to the bathroom, but sometimes forced to go in the closet. Police found urine and vomit stained bedding in one of the closets.

The girls told police they were whipped numerous times over the years using hands, wooden spoons and wires to whip the girls until they bled.

Police also found jugs of water with mold and dirty plastic plates.

The rooms were locked and secured with an alarm that triggered if the door was opened.

Perhaps most disturbing, 9OYS has learned the duct work was taped off in the girl's bedroom so foul smells coming from the bedrooms would not make their way into the master bedroom.

Tucson Police Chief Roberto Villaseñor spoke during the second news conference of the day updating the public on the latest developments in the child abuse, kidnapping investigation.

During the afternoon press conference, Chief Villaseñor said the parents did things to the girls to made them feel isolated and not in control.

After spending the day interviewing family members, police determined that relatives were made to believe that Sophia Richter, Fernando Richter and the girls were living in California. Whenever a family member called and asked to speak with tone of the girls, they would say they were not available, said Villaseñor.

The eldest daughter kept a journal and it contained a lot of information. It documented feeding, when a fresh batch of food  was brought in and kept track of fresh food, said Villaseñor.

During the morning press conference, Chief Villaseñor gave an overview of child abuse case and the investigation that began yesterday in the 2800 block of North Estrella Avenue.

Three girls reported being held captive in their home near Glenn and Stone, for up to two years.

During the morning news conference, Chief Villaseñor said that when the girls were reunited last night, it appeared to detectives they had not seen each other in quite some time.

The bedrooms where the girls were allegedly kept were next to each other, said Villaseñor. The girls were questioned separately and all had the same story.  Detectives overwhelmingly believe were they are telling the truth.

Chief Villaseñor also said there were towels stuffed under doors and the duct-work sealed off.  There was constant loud music playing inside the 17-year-old's room.  The rooms were the girls were kept were under contact surveillance, said Villaseñor.

During the news conference on Tuesday, Capt. Gillooly said the two younger girls climbed out their window and ran to a neighbor's home. They told the neighbor their stepfather kicked in their door and tried to assault them with a knife.

When police arrived, they found a 17-year-old in a separate bedroom. Police say the sisters hadn't seen each other in over two years, said Gillooly.

Police identified the parents as Sophia Richter, 32, and Fernando Richter, 34, their stepfather.

Police booked Mr. Richter on three counts of kidnapping, three counts of emotional child abuse, three counts of physical child abuse and one count of sexual abuse with a person under 15-years-old.

Police booked Ms. Richter on three counts of kidnapping, three counts of emotional child abuse and three counts of physical child abuse.

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