A couple in Texas held their adopted son hostage in an apartment garage for over four years because they feared he was a rapist. The parents, 40-year-old Jenifer and 39-year-old Dane Thyssen, from an Austin suburb were arrested this week and charged with the illegal confinement of their son Koystya who was held captive in a small structure with boarded up windows.
Police learned of Koystya’s captivity after he was arrested for allegedly breaking into a neighbor’s house and stealing female underwear. According to law enforcement he escaped his hostage situation but returned after he had stolen the items. The 22-year-old told police he was released once a week to shower and was given a weekly box of frozen and imperishable food.
According to the young man’s uncle, he was adopted from Kazakhstan 10 years ago and was abused overseas as a child; he now has diminished mental capacity. Rip Collins, a lawyer for the victim’s parents, told reporters when speaking of Koystya,
He has a history of sex and abusing children, not only in other countries but in this neighborhood, this community. They had him restrained because of their concerns that other people would be harmed.
Koystya told police that he remained locked in the living quarter 24-hours a day with the exception of Wednesdays. This was the day he took his shower and went to his counseling appointment. If his weekly food ran out Koystya would have to wait until Saturday for the next delivery. His apartment-like shed was equipped with a refrigerator, microwave, sink and toilet.
The young man told police while being interviewed that he rarely received any presents on holidays, was not allowed to eat dinner with the family nor enter the main home with the other kids. If the family left for vacation, his adopted father Dane would stay behind to watch him and during those times would eat dinner with him. Aside from the family, Koystya said he had no relatives or friends in the U.S.
Both parents have admitted to keeping their son locked up. They said the unconventional living situation was necessary in order to keep their other four children safe. Fed up with being hidden away, when let out for a counseling session Koystya stole a screwdriver from his father’s toolbox, then waited for his parents to go to church before he broke out of the apartment.
Police do not believe the man went too far, only to the house next door where he stole the items. The parents told the neighbors they had found the woman’s underwear and two magazines in Koystya’s room and called the police.
Jenifer Elise Thyssen and her husband, Dane Andrew Thyssen kept their 22-year-old adopted son Koystya in a garage apartment that was locked from the outside with boarded up windows. The Dripping Springs couple held the man hostage for over four years because they feared he was a rapist. At Hays County Jail both parents are being held on $350,000 bond after being charged with kidnapping. Koystya is being held on $10,000 bond after being charged with burglary.
By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)