After the death of his children’s mother early this summer, an Ohio man found new love with another woman. Now, the couple is behind bars after police made a disturbing find in their apartment.

According to WLWT, 26-year-old James Howell Jr. and his fiancée, 30-year-old Jamie Carver, lived together in a College Hill apartment with his 4-year-old twin boys.

But the household was anything but happy, according to police.

Hamilton County Jail

Carver had a past record of domestic violence. The boys’ father also had a “minor record,” but none of his crimes were considered violent, according to WLWT.

And together, Cincinnati police said they allegedly abused the two 4-year-old twins.

Now, they’re behind bars after authorities entered the apartment around 4 p.m. on Sunday afternoon and made a horrifying discovery, according to Cincinnati Police Detective Janette Vaughn.

She said that the children were bound with shoelaces and belts, gagged with socks, and duct taped to the apartment wall in a horrible display of abuse:

“Duct tape was found everywhere in the apartment. Duct tape was used, also a sock was put in the children’s mouths to keep them from making any noises.”

Screenshot/WLWT

According to Fox 19, duct tape was found on multiple walls throughout the apartment. They also reported that the father sometimes used a belt to discipline his children.

Both Howell and Carver have now been brought up on two counts of kidnapping and child endangering.

Despite the charges, Howell’s family finds the alleged abuse difficult to believe. His mother, Vickie Howell, told WLWT:

“He’s disciplined them on their little butts and made them have a time out and sit them in the corner but the other stuff? No.”

When asked if she thought her son would ever use duct tape on the twin boys, she said, “Lord mercy. No!” She also added that Carver had just recently moved in with her son.

Screenshot/WLWT

But first responder Sgt. Jeff Dunaway said it will be hard for him to forget what he saw when he went to the apartment. He said:

“There is no kind way to describe what these children more than likely were living in. What we saw in that apartment last night will not put a smile on anyone’s face, especially the children involved.”

Dunaway and the other first responders are taking donations for the twin boys, according to WLWT.

The children will remain in the care of Hamilton County Job and Family Services, which is currently working to find them a foster family.

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Ohio Couple Lose Custody of 4-Year-Old Twins After Police Find Duct Tape Covering Their Apartment

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