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Pa. boy locked in coffin, parents missing

SCRANTON, Pa., Oct. 4 (UPI) -- A Pennsylvania couple was missing after their 7-year-old son was found locked in a dark, bug-infested basement wearing a diaper, police said.

Lori Gardner, 26, and Brian Sleboda, 31, face felony counts of endangering the welfare of a child and unlawful restraint, The (Scranton) Times Tribune reported Tuesday.

Chief Dan Duffy said the police are searching for the couple, who went missing after police discovered the boy.

The child was found in the couple's Scranton home after neighbors heard him crying Sept. 26.

"Are you here to help me?" the boy reportedly asked police.

The boy told police his parents locked him in a coffin in the basement as punishment. He said they often duct-taped his arms and scared him by saying ghosts were in the basement.

The house -- which shows evidence of fire, has electrical issues and is infested with bugs -- has been condemned by the city.

UPI - United Press International, Inc.

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