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Florida couple on abuse counts surrender


A Florida couple wanted on child abuse charges have surrendered to authorities a month after their 10-year-old foster daughter was removed from their home weighing only 13kg.

The malnourished girl was locked in her bedroom for days at a time and fed only milk, nutritional drinks and a spoonful of food three times a day, Hernando County sheriff's investigators said.

The girl's 14-year-old brother sneaked her extra food under her door two or three times a week, investigators said. She was given a paint bucket to use as a toilet.

Arthur Thomas Allain jnr, 46, and Lori Allain, 47, were released on bail. They and the girl told investigators that she had an eating disorder that made her vomit. But health care workers said she has no physical or psychological problems and had been gaining weight with proper nutrition.

2004 Jun 21