A couple have been charged after allegedly keeping their adopted children locked in rooms for up to 12 hours with no food or light.
It is claimed Benito and Carol Gutierrez also only allowed their four children the use of a bucket for a toilet while locked away.
The children. from Arizona, are between six and 12 years old, according to the BBC. Their adopted parents have both been charged with child abuse.
The Pima County Sheriff's Department claims children were in "separate bedrooms" with locks on the outside and had "no access to food, water, lights, or bathroom facilities for up to twelve hours at a time on a regular basis."
Although the children are adopted they are all biologically related and police claim they did not know their alleged lifestyle was strange.
It is said that they were all performing well at school and there we no issues reported.
Authorities were first informed about the children when one of them visited a shop and a member of staff contacted police over concerns due to the way he looked.
Detective Pat Willson spoke at a press conference where he praised the shop worker for alerting police, despite being unsure of the situation.
He also said the couple were subject to background checks when adopting and passed them all, with no reports of previous problems.