Deputies: Couple held children captive in basement

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A DeKalb County couple faces disturbing accusations after deputies arrested them on child cruelty charges and allege they locked two children in a basement.

According to the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office, 38-year-old Tamara Raychell McGowan and 42-year-old Thomas Charles Young kept two children in the basement of a home on North Hairston Road for hours on end. Warrants allege the couple only fed them "noodles" once a day.

The alleged abuse happened between June 2017 and the end of April of this year.

The warrants state the couple exposed the children to drugs and performed sexual acts in front of them. One warrant states Young tried to force the children to perform sex acts on him. 

Deputies with the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office Sex Offender Unit found the couple sleeping in a vehicle in the parking lot of a Walmart.

McGowan and Young were booked into the DeKalb County Jail on multiple charges including cruelty to child-first degree deprive, cruelty to child-first degree pain, criminal attempt sodomy, cruelty to child second degree and simple assault fear.

"Ain't no kids been locked here in no basement...that's a damn lie. they've never been in my basement," said Arthur Lee Dyers, Young's uncle, who said the children nor the couple ever lived with him, and the abuse in the basement never happened.

"I've known Thomas from a little boy, he had nothing to do with no kids like that," Dyers said.

The court has not set a date for the couple's first appearance before a judge.