Georgia Tech 2000 media photo of football player Recardo Wimbush.
GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga.
A suburban Atlanta couple accused of locking their son in the basement of their home for more than a year has surrendered to police.
WSB-TV reported that Recardo Wimbush, 33, and his wife, Therian, 37, turned themselves in to police Friday evening. Police said the couple is accused of confining the 13-year-old to a small room with a mattress and makeshift toilet. They face charges of child cruelty and false imprisonment.
Authorities investigated after the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services received an anonymous tip June 15. The boy's parents told authorities their son was locked up for disciplinary reasons.
Police said the teen didn't appear malnourished, and neither he nor his nine siblings showed signs of physical abuse.
The Georgia Division of Family and Children Services took custody of all the children.
Wimbush is a former Georgia Tech player who also briefly signed with the Atlanta Falcons.
"He was essentially being treated as a prisoner would be treated," Cpl. Jake Smith said when the warrant was issued for the couple earlier this week.
"The window had been painted over. There was no light bulb outside. What was inside was a bucket that the child was using as a bathroom, a mattress and box spring," Smith said.
In the arrest warrant, a dective wrote "Therian and Recardo Sr. justified his treatment in Juvenile Court by saying the boy molested three of the younger siblings. The child stated he was locked in the bedroom located in the basement for taking the family DVD player and lying about it."
Police said they have no evidence to support the molestation claim and the other children did not mention it.
Wimbush played for Georgia Tech from 1999-2002 and led the team in tackles for three years. He signed a contract with the Atlanta Falcons in 2003 but was cut before the season started.