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Parents Charged with Abuse of Vulnerable Adult Sons

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Montgomery County Police Special Victims Investigations Division (SVID) and Adult Protective Services (APS) are investigating the circumstances surrounding the improper care of two vulnerable adults found at 5:08 a.m. on Thursday, July 17, locked in a basement room in a home in the 1600 block of Crawford Drive in Rockville, Maryland.

John Weaver Land, age 57, and his wife Janice Elizabeth Land, age 59, both of the same block address, were arrested and charged with two counts of second-degree vulnerable adult abuse and two counts of unlawful intentional detention, in violation of common law.

SVID detectives were alerted to the vulnerable adult abuse after a search warrant for a drug-related investigation by the MCPD Special Investigations Division (SID) was executed at the residence. During the course of the search of the home, a room was located in the basement which was secured with an external dead bolt. Upon entry, an officer found two 22-year-old males who were later determined to be autistic twin brothers. The victims were non-verbal.

The conditions of the room were described as the following: no access to an adjoining bathroom, no furniture in the room, a bed comforter was on the tile floor, the single light was not functioning, a radio was playing loud music and there was one small window that was not large enough to provide escape in the event that it was needed as an emergency exit. There was an overwhelming smell of urine coming from the room. It was later learned that there were no working smoke or carbon monoxide detectors in the residence.

The victims were transported to an area hospital for evaluation and placed in the care of APS.

Through the course of the investigation it was determined that John and Janice Land were the parents and primary caregivers, and that the room had been used as the victims' bedroom for the past six years.

John and Janice Land were released on July 18, after payment of a $75,000 (for John Land) and a $50,000 bond (for Janice Land). The victims remain in protective custody. The investigation is continuing.

The Montgomery County Police Department offers an Autism Outreach program. To learn more about the services the department provides for the Autistic community, contact Officer Laurie Reyes at If abuse of any kind is suspected, call 9-1-1.

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Release ID: 14-247
Media Contact: mcpnews 
Categories: press-releases