Two teenage siblings caused at least $20,000 in damage to their mother's property in Madison by pouring chlorine bleach over her clothes, snipping apart her wedding dress, gouging holes in walls and prying keys off her piano, authorities said on Tuesday. A 15-year-old girl and her 14-year-old brother were charged on Monday with criminal mischief, making terroristic threats and disorderly conduct after their mother returned home from work in the afternoon to find that they had "pretty much torn the place apart," a Madison police detective told a judge on Tuesday.

With their mother in the courtroom, the teenagers -- handcuffed and wearing jumpsuits issued by the Morris County Juvenile Detention Center -- were brought before Superior Court family division Judge Thomas Critchley Jr. in Morristown on Tuesday for a probable cause hearing.

Borough Detective Wayne Reed told the judge that he arrived at the house on Monday to find graffiti scrawled on one family vehicle and front door panes broken out. Glass, debris and paper littered the foyer, keys were broken off the piano in the living room, and every glass item and knick-knack and picture in the room was smashed. Holes had been gouged in walls with a hammer, a brass handrail was dented, and obscene, threatening graffiti was sprayed or marked on walls in the mother's bedroom.

Reed said the odor of chlorine was strong, and he discovered that the mother's clothing and dresser drawers were doused with bleach and her wedding dress was cut up.

The teens admitted to their mother that they did the damage, and the girl stated that she did so to a detective at police headquarters, according to authorities.


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