Three girls' aunt: Hard to enjoy Thanksgiving - Tucson News Now

Three girls' aunt: Hard to enjoy Thanksgiving

Michelle Pulido's nieces say they were held captive by their parents in their midtown home. Michelle Pulido's nieces say they were held captive by their parents in their midtown home.
Fernando and Sophia Richter (Source: Tucson Police Department) Fernando and Sophia Richter (Source: Tucson Police Department)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

A Tucson woman whose sister and brother-in-law face kidnapping and child abuse charges for allegedly holding her nieces captive says the holiday has been difficult for her family.

"It was hard to enjoy Thanksgiving yesterday," said Michelle Pulido, the sister of Sophia Richter who is in jail with her husband Fernando Richter, the girls' stepfather.  Both were arrested this week after two of the girls escaped to a neighbor's house.

Pulido saw her sister in jail on Tuesday, but has not seen or spoken to her since.

"We are speaking out because we want you to know we love my sister," Pulido said.

When Pulido saw Richter this week she said she "looks like Sophia, but when she talks, it is not her."  Pulido described her sister today as "very detached" and "no longer the same person" with whom she grew up.

Pulido said she and her family have not been able to see their nieces, aged 12, 13, and 17.

"I can't wait to hug them, to buy them clothes, to do normal things with them," she said.

Based on what authorities have told Pulido, she said she believes the girls are being "very well taken care of. They are together," Pulido said.

The Richters each face three counts of kidnapping, child abuse-emotional and child abuse-physical abuse. 

Fernando Richter is facing an additional charge of sexual abuse with a person under 15 years of age, according to TPD.

On Wednesday a judge set bond for Fernando Richter at $100,000 and for Sophia Richter at $75,000.

Their next court appearance has been scheduled for Dec. 9.

According to police, the girls said Sophia and Fernando Richter had held them captive for up to two years.

Police say the girls appeared malnourished and extremely dirty when police first made contact with them.  The girls also told police they had not bathed in four to six months. 

Copyright 2013 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

  • Local newsMore>>

  • Police ID man shot, killed by officers at cemetery in Tucson

    Police ID man shot, killed by officers at cemetery in Tucson

    Saturday, May 27 2017 11:32 PM EDT2017-05-28 03:32:03 GMT
    Joseph Zimmerman, 34, was shot and killed Friday night, according to TPD (Source: Tucson News Now).Joseph Zimmerman, 34, was shot and killed Friday night, according to TPD (Source: Tucson News Now).

    Police in Tucson released new details about a deadly shooting involving police officers on the south side of the city Friday night.. An update from Tucson Police Department Saturday afternoon identified the man who died as 34-year-old Joseph Zimmerman.

    Police in Tucson released new details about a deadly shooting involving police officers on the south side of the city Friday night.. An update from Tucson Police Department Saturday afternoon identified the man who died as 34-year-old Joseph Zimmerman.

  • Group provides heat relief for homeless as summer nears

    Group provides heat relief for homeless as summer nears

    Saturday, May 27 2017 9:36 PM EDT2017-05-28 01:36:18 GMT
    Source: KOLDSource: KOLD

    They are simple steps for survival in the sun, from people whose lives aren’t all that simplistic. "[You] look for water, food, and what not. Yeah, that's about it,” said Kenneth Wells. 

    They are simple steps for survival in the sun, from people whose lives aren’t all that simplistic. "[You] look for water, food, and what not. Yeah, that's about it,” said Kenneth Wells. 

  • Fighter pilot memorialized on 20th anniversary of tragic crash

    Fighter pilot memorialized on 20th anniversary of tragic crash

    Saturday, May 27 2017 9:20 PM EDT2017-05-28 01:20:49 GMT
    Captain Amy Svoboda died during a training exercise on May 27, 1997 (Source: Tucson News Now).Captain Amy Svoboda died during a training exercise on May 27, 1997 (Source: Tucson News Now).

    20 years later, on the day of her death, Captain Amy Svoboda was memorialized. A uniformed statue in her honor was unveiled Saturday at the Pima Air and Space Museum.

    20 years later, on the day of her death, Captain Amy Svoboda was memorialized. A uniformed statue in her honor was unveiled Saturday at the Pima Air and Space Museum.

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Surprising cause of death in teen boating accident creates 'Raven's Rule'

    Surprising cause of death in teen boating accident creates 'Raven's Rule'

    Wednesday, May 24 2017 3:34 PM EDT2017-05-24 19:34:33 GMT

    16-year-old Raven Little-White died in August, after a boating accident on Lake Waccamaw. The medical examiner’s report lists “drowning” as the probable cause of death, but a toxicology report that came back later revealed Raven had actually succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning.

    16-year-old Raven Little-White died in August, after a boating accident on Lake Waccamaw. The medical examiner’s report lists “drowning” as the probable cause of death, but a toxicology report that came back later revealed Raven had actually succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning.

  • Accidental drowning kills 20-year-old

    Accidental drowning kills 20-year-old

    Saturday, May 27 2017 6:30 PM EDT2017-05-27 22:30:20 GMT

    A body found on Biloxi Beach Saturday morning has been identified and the death has been ruled accidental.

    A body found on Biloxi Beach Saturday morning has been identified and the death has been ruled accidental.

  • Trump's trip: Conventional images and unconventional talk

    Trump's trip: Conventional images and unconventional talk

    Saturday, May 27 2017 11:49 PM EDT2017-05-28 03:49:04 GMT
    Saturday, May 27 2017 11:49 PM EDT2017-05-28 03:49:04 GMT

    President Donald Trump will return to Washington having rattled some allies and reassured others, but his White House still sits under a cloud of scandal.

    President Donald Trump will return to Washington having rattled some allies and reassured others, but his White House still sits under a cloud of scandal.

Powered by Frankly