Twins allegedly escaped, handcuffed before 5 brothers went missing with mom, prompting Amber Alert

Five boys with the last name Menina were last seen in a Cypress-area neighborhood before dawn Tuesday.

Daniela Hurtado Image
Wednesday, October 19, 2022
5 children found in Louisiana after Amber Alert issued in Texas
A mother and her boyfriend are charged after five of her children were reported missing by her 16-year-old twins who told deputies they were handcuffed in their home.

CYPRESS, Texas (KTRK) -- A bare-boned Amber Alert issued in Houston turned into an interstate search for five children and three adults, and now the mother and her boyfriend have been charged after they were found in Louisiana.

Deputies with the Harris County Precinct 5 Constable's Office elaborated on the alert concerning five children who, along with three adult members of their family, disappeared at about 5:30 a.m.

Late Monday, a set of 16-year-old twins told deputies they escaped their home where they were allegedly handcuffed, according to the constable office's spokesperson Jeff McShan.

McShan said the twins, a boy and girl, ran until they found someone to help them call the police.

The twins told police they did not know their home's address because they hadn't lived there long and allegedly hadn't been outside recently.

The constable's office said by the time deputies located the house, their five siblings were gone with their mother Zaikiya Duncan, 40, and her boyfriend, who was described as their stepfather in the alert, Jova Terrell, 27.

According to information released by the Texas Center for the Missing, a coinciding Silver Alert was issued for Duncan's five children:

  • Nicholas Menina, 7-year-old boy
  • Zayden Menina, 10-year-old boy
  • Jovion Menina, 12-year-old boy
  • Javier Menina, 12-year-old boy
  • Jarod Menina, 14-year-old boy

The five children were last seen in the Cypress area near Fry Road when the alert was issued.

Duncan and Terrell are in the process of being charged with injury to a child and are being brought back to Harris County on Tuesday, according to the constable's office.

According to ABC affiliate WBRZ, Duncan and Terrell were stopped in a silver Mitsubishi Outlander at about 4:30 p.m. in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

When the two suspects were captured, they only had one child with them. Duncan and Terrell told investigators that they dropped the other children off at a relative's house in Louisiana.

McShan confirmed that the remaining children were in fact at a relative's home in Louisiana and said Child Protective Services have been contacted.

The twins are in CPS custody and currently in the hospital after deputies described them to have bruises and appeared malnourished.

It was also believed that the children's 18-year-old brother Jamerian Robinson was with them, but his whereabouts were not immediately disclosed.

Duncan was sentenced to serve probation for her cruelty to juvenile charge in 2013, and later fulfilled the terms by 2020.

This is a developing story. All updates can be found in this article.

For updates on this story, follow Daniela Hurtado on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.