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Dad of 4-year-old twins bound, gagged them with duct tape, socks and shoelaces, Ohio police say

CINCINNATI (WCPO) -- Police officers who investigated an apartment building in Cincinnati, Ohio Sunday left "deeply disturbed" by what they saw there: Duct tape, shoelaces and socks that had been used to bind and gag a pair of 4-year-old twin boys in an abusive form of discipline, according to Det. Janette Vaughn.

"(The officers) just felt so emotionally disturbed by what they saw," Fraternal Order of Police president Sgt. Dan Hils said Monday. "It's so unique and remarkable that it took very veteran, very seasoned, inner-city police officers to say, 'Wow, this is unbelievable.'"

The boys' father, 26-year-old James Howell and his 30-year-old girlfriend, Jamie Carver, both stand charged with multiple counts of child endangering and kidnapping. A third adult, 30-year-old Rowdy Warren, was charged with obstructing official business after police discovered he had also been present in the apartment where the abuse took place.

The boys were moved to a foster family while their guardians stand trial, Vaughn said.

"It just makes you wonder what frame of mind they were in," Phil Harris, who works near the scene, said. "Are they on drugs? I just don't understand people that could harm children."

According to Hils, officers began collecting donations within the department for the boys.

Kidnapping and child endangering are both felony offenses. If convicted of all counts, Carver and Howell could each face a minimum of seven years’ imprisonment.

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