Couple accused of kidnapping gets help from supporters

DRIPPING SPRINGS, Texas (KXAN) — Friends continue to support a couple from Dripping Springs accused of locking up their adopted son for years.

Last week members of their church showed up during the couple’s first court appearance and said there’s more to the story.

Supporters helped clean and mow the family’s property Sunday.

“Several big tree limbs got blown over during some of the recent storms,” said David Drell, who helped. “So we just have to chop up all that wood and move it.”

Drell went to the property with members of Redeemer Presbyterian Church.

“[We helped] because we love these people,” Drell said. “They’re just the greatest human beings you ever want to meet. They’ve been a part of this church for 15 years loving to us and giving to us.”

The attorney for a couple accused of locking their adopted son in an apartment argued Friday that they kept him locked up because he is a danger to the community.

Their attorney was arguing that the $350,000 bond for each on the abduction charge for Dane and Jenifer Thyssen should be lowered because their son is a sexual predator. However, prosecutors for the state argued that this was new information to them and they did not have enough time to prepare for the hearing. The judge ordered the hearing to be rescheduled in the near future.

The couple were brought into the courtroom for Friday’s bond reduction hearing wearing chains and standard blue jail uniforms. About 35 friends and community members showed up to support the couple.

The defense maintains Koystya was abused as a child in Kazakstan and became a child molester in this country after his adoption.

David Drell, a longtime family friend and business partner of the Thyssens was passionate about their case, “This child has been known by the community to be a serial sex offender. The state of Texas held him in CPS custody when he was a juvenile but as soon as he turned 18 the state let him loose.”

CPS told KXAN that because of state confidentiality laws they cannot comment on the case.

The Thyssens were arrested after their adopted son, Koystya, told police he was kept locked in an apartment and only allowed to leave once a week. At the time, their son was being questioned as part of an investigation into the burglary of a neighbor’s house. He was later arrested and charged with burglary.

Dane Thyssen’s brother told KXAN by phone that Koystya was adopted from Kazakhstan 10 years ago and that he had been abused as a child overseas. The brother said Koystya now has diminished mental capacity. He also maintains the Thyssens have tried to get help from the state for years and that Koystya was locked up for his safety and the safety of the family’s four other children.

Defense attorney Perry Minton says, “CPS put him in homes where there were kids. The daddy and mother told us they were done with that, they had an obligation to protect the community.”
He adds, “This is an unusual case, and these people deserve a commendation.”

The Thyssens were released Friday evening on $70,000 bond each.

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