PAIR WANTED IN TORTURE OF FIVE TEENS CAPTURED

Date: 2005-02-05

The Miami Herald

A Florida couple have been captured in Utah after being accused of starving five adopted children and yanking some of their toenails out with pliers, officials said Friday.

John and Linda Dollar were picked up by two deputies around 7:30 p.m. south of Blanding in southeastern Utah, according to the San Juan County (Utah) Sheriff's Department. They were being held in county jail on Florida warrants of felony aggravated child abuse.

The couple were easily tracked because they continued using their cellphones in Utah, Citrus County sheriff's Capt. Jim Cernich said.

The Dollar family included seven adopted children between the ages of 12 and 17. Five of the children have told investigators they were tortured by the couple, subjected to electric shocks, beatings with hammers and having their toenails yanked out with pliers.

Authorities said the abused five had physical injuries to back up their claims and were so severely malnourished that they weighed no more than elementary school children.

``They looked like the photos that we've seen of Auschwitz,'' said Citrus sheriff's spokeswoman Gail Tierney, describing 14-year-old twins, one weighing 36 pounds, the other 38 pounds.

The family had lived in Beverly Hills, about 85 miles north of Tampa, since August. All seven are in the custody of the Department of Children & Families.

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