Girl confined to small basement room with alarm
NEW BOSTON, N.H. (AP) — A couple confined a girl for over two months to a small basement room that had mesh-covered windows and was rigged with an alarm, police said Tuesday.
Thomas Atkocaitis, 57, and Denise Atkocaitis, 55, of New Boston, both face charges of criminal restraint, kidnapping and endangering the welfare of a child. More charges are possible as the investigation continues.
Police didn’t say whether the Atkocaitises were the girl’s parents, and would describe her age only as under 18. She was kept in a room smaller than 8 feet by 8 feet and was allowed to leave only for an hour each day for food or to use the bathroom, authorities said.
(Denise and Thomas Atkocaitis. Photo: New Boston Police Department)
The girl managed to run away Sept. 5, New Boston Police Chief James Brace said. She was found on a road across the town line in Mont Vernon and told police about her confinement.
The couple were released on bail and are scheduled to appear in court Nov. 1. It wasn’t known if they had lawyers to speak for them, and a listed phone number was no longer in service.
Brace described the girl as doing well and said she is in state custody.
“It is shocking when these things occur,” Brace said. “It is shocking that they occur anywhere, whether you live in a city or a small town.”
Police have had past contact with the family, including last year when Denise Atkocaitis was arrested on suspicion of assaulting another family member who was under 18 and in 2010 when she was accused of abusing a third child.
It is unclear how those earlier cases were resolved.
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS