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Iowa Couple Accused of Locking Boy in Basement Both Plead Guilty

IOWA -- A Hardin County couple accused of confining an 8-year-old boy in a dungeon-like space in the basement will avoid trial.

Alex Shadlow and Traci Tyler both took plea deals Monday.

Shadlow pleaded guilty to one count of kidnapping and two counts of child endangerment causing serious injury. Tyler entered a guilty plea for three counts of child endangerment causing serious injury.

The couple admitted to confining Shadlow's son for a period of at least 30 days. The child was locked in a dark, 6-by-6-foot area underneath the basement stairs with only a tin can to use as a toilet. Court documents say the boy spent up to nine hours a day in this space.

The Department of Human Services was alerted when teachers reported the boy was always hungry and had patches of hair falling out. The child told teachers he was locked under the stairs and only allowed out to attend school.

Both Shadlow and Tyler face up to 30 years in prison.

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