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Delaware couple running 'house of horrors'

Published On: Nov 30 2012 07:49:05 AM EST
Robert Hohn III and Shannon Watterson

Robert Hohn III and Shannon Watterson

NEWARK, Del. -

Two Newark, Delaware parents are facing a list of charges after police say they were running a "house of horrors."

Police say the couple had locked their 12-year old son in a back bedroom since mid-September with no clothing or furniture-- only allowing him out to use the bathroom and eat a small amount of food.

According to doctors the boy was 20 pounds underweight.

Officials say Tuesday night the boy escaped the home and ran to a neighbor's where he opened up about the alleged abuse and the police were notified.


The boy told New Castle County Police that for more than two months he had been kept locked up by his father, 41-year-old Robert Hohn III, and his stepmother, 39-year-old Shannon Watterson.

Police say the room he was kept in had no furniture or blankets.

Police also found three other children in the home aged 14, 10 and 9 years old who were also being mistreated.

The parents now face child abuse charges, a felony in Delaware that could bring between two and 25 years in prison.

Bail for Hohn and Watterson was set at $282,000 and they were ordered not to have any contact with the children.