Inside the spotless apartment, police found padlocks on the cupboards in the kitchen, the refrigerator, the freezer and the sliding closet doors.
Because everything was locked up, the two young boys who lived there couldn’t get to food, clothing or toys. And they couldn’t leave because the lock on the front door couldn’t be opened from the inside without a key, investigators say.
The brothers, ages 7 and 8, were frantic that their father not learn police had been there, saying they would be “beat,” King County prosecutors allege.
One of the boys got down on the carpet to pick up tiny pieces of dirt tracked in by an officer, afraid of what his father might do if the house were not in order, according to court documents.
The officer contacted Child Protective Services and drove the boys to the agency’s Kent office. Now, more than two months later, the boys remain in CPS custody and the 28-year-old father, Stacey A. Kinchen, has been charged with unlawful imprisonment.
Kinchen pleaded innocent Wednesday in King County Superior Court.