San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

June 28th, 2014
Investigators: Couple kept adopted son locked in darkened apartment for years


DRIPPING SPRINGS — During the course of a burglary investigation in Dripping Springs, authorities learned the suspect in that case was himself an alleged victim of ongoing kidnapping just a few doors down from where he is believed to have broken in.

Koystya Thyssen

Koystya Thyssen

Dane and Jenifer Thyssen were arrested and charged with third-degree felony kidnapping Wednesday, after authorities learned during their investigation into the alleged burglary that the couple kept their adoptive son — the suspect in the burglary case — locked in a garage apartment.

Koystya Thyssen, 22, is accused of burglarizing a home in the 1200 block of Meadow Ridge Drive on April 27. He was arrested and charged with second-degree felony burglary in that case on May 13.

While authorities investigated the burglary case they learned Koystya had been living in a garage apartment at Dane and Jenifer’s residence in the 1200 block of Meadow Ridge Drive.

Koystya was allegedly kept in a boarded up room under lock and key, and had been kept under those conditions for the past four or five years, when the Thyssens first moved into their home, according to court documents.

Koystya’s adoptive parents allegedly kept him locked in the room out of a safety concern for the Thyssens’ children in the home. Koystya told investigators in a June 24 interview that he was checked up on once a day and was provided a small box of dry and frozen foods every Saturday, which had to last him a whole week, according to the probable cause affidavit used to secure warrants for Dane and Jenifer.

“Koystya stated if he runs out of food then he has to wait until they bring him food again, which is usually Saturdays,” Detective Nelson Wray, who was investigating the burglary and interviewed Koystya, said in the court documents.

Koystya’s apartment had all the windows boarded up, was equipped with a toilet, sink, refrigerator and microwave, and had the entry door secured with a latch that locked from the outside, Wray said.

Koystya told investigators he visits a counselor on Wednesdays and usually gets to shower in the main residence prior to the visit, court documents stated. After the counselor visits, Koystya usually would go to Dane’s workplace and then back to his garage apartment where he would be locked back in, the documents state.

On the day of the April burglary, Koystya had escaped from the locked apartment and entered a neighbor’s home through an unsecured garage door, Koystya told investigators. Wray said Koystya used a screwdriver he took from Dane’s workplace after a counselor visit, to escape from the locked apartment.

Koystya told investigators he would never have dinner with the family, and sometimes he would get gifts during the holidays, though he was not allowed to spend any time with the family in the main residence.

When the family went on vacations, Dane would stay behind due to work, that’s when Koystya was allowed to have dinner in the home, but would be locked back in the garage apartment afterwards, court documents state.

“Koystya stated he believes it’s wrong how he is treated but doesn’t say anything. Koystya advised he has no friends nor any family in the United States,” court documents state.

Hays County Pct. 2 Justice of the Peace Beth Smith, who issued the kidnapping warrants for Dane and Jenifer, set bail at $350,000 each. The couple remains in Hays County custody.

Koystya also is in custody under $10,000 bail for his burglary charge.

ANDY SEVILLA reports for the Hays Free Press where this story was originally published. It is reprinted here through a news partnership between the Free Press and the San Marcos Mercury.


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3 thoughts on “Investigators: Couple kept adopted son locked in darkened apartment for years

  1. Agreed. God help Hays county figure out how to help this young man instead of this crap! Only solution acceptable in my opinion. Lord please help whoever cannot see this!

  2. The Statesman did a follow-up article on this case, which provided much more information. Are you going to do the same as it takes place in Hays County and involves the Hays County DA’s office?

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