Dripping Springs couple accused of keeping son locked away
By Patrick Tolbert and David Scott
DRIPPING SPRINGS, Texas (KXAN) — A burglary investigation turned into a bizarre abduction investigation after the 22-year old suspect told police he escaped from his adopted parents, after being locked in their garage apartment for five years.
According to court documents, Jenifer Elise and Dane Andrew Thyssen admitted to locking their 22-year-old adopted son, Koystya Thyssen, in the apartment for his safety and the safety of their four younger children.
Investigators say the apartment’s windows were boarded up and that the door was locked from the outside. It had a toilet, microwave and refrigerator. Koystya told investigators he was kept locked away and was given a box of food once a week.
The story came out when Koystya was arrested in May on a charge of burglarizing a neighbor’s home. The homeowner’s stolen undergarments and magazines were found in Koystya’s home.
That’s when Koystya began telling detectives about his story.
The arrest affidavit details how Koystya was allowed to shower once a week before a weekly meeting with his counselor. He told investigators that he sometimes gets gifts for holidays but doesn’t have any friends or family in the United States.
A brother of Dane Thyssen told KXAN by phone that Koystya was adopted from Kazakhstan 10 years ago and that he had been abused as a child overseas. The brother said Koystya now has diminished mental capacity. He also maintains the Thyssens have tried to get help from the state for years and that Koystya was locked up for his safety and the safety of the family’s four other children.
Meanwhile, the Thyssens were being held on a kidnapping charge Thursday in the Hays County jail on $350,000 bond each.
Detectives stumbled across the abduction case while investigating the burglary of the Thyssen’s neighbors’ house.
Police were called to the 1200 block of Meadow Ridge in Dripping Springs on May 6th. The victims told police that their neighbor discovered some of their property in their son’s room.
The victim told police the neighbors’ son stole her underwear and two magazines; all of which investigators recovered.
Police arrested Koystya Thyssen on a burglary charge. During their interview, they determined he was able to escape from his locked apartment on April 29th.
Koystya told investigators he waited to escape until his parents were at church and snuck into the home through an unlocked door.