3 accused of child cruelty, false imprisonment - FOX 35 News Orlando

3 accused of child cruelty, false imprisonment

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Police arrested three people on cruelty to children charges in Rockdale County. (photo by Aiun Nettles/FOX 5) Police arrested three people on cruelty to children charges in Rockdale County. (photo by Aiun Nettles/FOX 5)
ROCKDALE COUNTY, Ga. -

Police arrested three people on cruelty to children and false imprisonment charges in Rockdale County on Thursday.

The Rockdale County Sheriff's Office says they were called to a home on Hull Road in Conyers to check on the welfare of three children: an 8-year-old girl and two boys, ages 10 and 12.

Investigators did not say what specifically brought them to the home, or what they discovered inside.

"There was some…validity as to the information that was received," said Rockdale County Sheriff Eric Levett. "Most certainly we have a duty to protect the children."

Authorities arrested 37-year-old Lev Dzyuba, and his two sisters, 21-year-old Alina Dzyuba and 26-year-old Natalia Mellon. They are charged with cruelty to children and false imprisonment.

The children have been placed into protective custody by the Division of Family and Children Services, FOX 5's George Franco reports.

A family member of Dzyuba, Lacya Kucheryavaya, said that Mr. Dzyuba has lived at the Conyers home for about 12 years. He and his wife adopted the three Ukrainian children about a year ago, she said. Shortly afterward, Dzyuba's wife passed away from cancer, and his two sisters stepped in.

"It is overwhelming. With his wife having passed away, he knew that he would need extra help and attention to pay attention to the kids," said Kucheryavaya.

Kucheryavaya says the children were homeschooled by the sisters while their father worked at his air conditioning business. She believes the child cruelty and false imprisonment charges against the three are a big misunderstanding.

"I do believe justice will be served. His story will be heard and all this will be figured out, but I know that Lev would not do anything out of the ordinary or extreme," Kucheryavaya said.

The suspects remained at the Rockdale County jail on Thursday night. They were expected to make their first court appearance on Friday.

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