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Brick Women Sentenced to Prison for Keeping Boy, 8, in ‘House of Horrors’

Helecia Morris, 41, of Brick Township, and Donna Jung, 57, of Lehigh Acres, Fla. (Photo: Ocean County Jail)

Helecia Morris, 41, of Brick Township, and Donna Jung, 57, of Lehigh Acres, Fla. (Photo: Ocean County Jail)

A pair of Brick Township women will spend several years behind bars for keeping an 8-year-old boy in a “house of horrors” several years ago, an Ocean County Superior Court Judge ruled Friday.

Helecia Morris, 41, of Brick, received an eight year sentence in New Jersey State Prison, and Donna Jung, 57, of Lehigh Acres, Florida, formerly of Brick, received a seven year sentence. The two women were found guilty in May of endangering the welfare of a child in connection with incidents that occurred between April 1, 2015 and January 9, 2016 in a residence on Queen Ann Road in Brick.

According to prosecutors, on Jan. 9, 2016, Brick police officers and representatives from the state Division of Child Protection and Permanency responded to the Queen Ann Road home in reference to a wellness check on Morris’s biological 8-year-old son. Responding officers “found the child locked in his room in abhorrent conditions,” prosecutors said in a statement. The room also “reeked of urine.”

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An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victim’s Unit and Brick police revealed that the 8-year-old male victim was “locked in his room day and night by Morris and Jung.”

“He was not allowed to use the bathroom in the residence and was excluded from socializing with the rest of the family,” the statement said. “The room contained no bed, no furniture, no lights and no toys.”

The boy and two other minor children were removed from the residence. They were taken to Ocean University Medical Center in Brick Township to be medically evaluated and were subsequently placed in foster care.

Judge Lisa A. Puglisi handed down the sentence Friday. Puglisi sentenced Morris to an additional four years in state prison in connection with an unrelated charge of theft, and 18 months for an unrelated charge of shoplifting. These sentences will run concurrent to one another, but consecutive to Morris’ child abuse sentence.

Morris and Jung have been in custody since their trial concluded with a guilty verdict having been returned. They had previously been freed on bail.

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