A man has been arrested after allegedly keeping his two children and their mother prisoner for two years in their Virginia home. Kariem Ali Muhammad Moore, 43, from Spotsylvania has been charged with three felony counts of abduction and felony assault and battery.

His children, aged 11 and eight, and their mother, 32, made a frantic escape out of a side door of their home-cum-prison on Saturday 29 July while Moore was distracted by law enforcement at the front door, a spokesman for the Spotsylvania County Sheriff said.

The traumatised trio ran into the arms of deputies, desperate to tell them that they had been held captive by Moore for two years, according to Fredericksburg's Free Lance-Star.

Deputies had arrived at the building on Mine Road at around 5pm to check-up on the family after a neighbour reported that they hadn't seen or heard from any of them for some time.

Moore met them at the front door and was reportedly showing a reluctance to let them into the building when the woman and children made their escape through the other door.

The woman, who is not married to Moore, was rushed to a medical facility to be treated for a serious medical condition that has gone untreated for several years. The children are staying with relatives having received medical check-ups. Investigators believe they have never attended school.

Moore was said to be unemployed and reclusive by Spotsylvania Sheriff's Lt. C.A. Carey. He is being held without bail at Rappahannock Regional Jail and may face more charges.

In February 2016, a Swedish doctor was jailed for ten years for kidnapping a woman and holding her in a purpose-built bunker.

Martin Peter Trenneborg wa dubbed the "Swedish Fritzl" after hs trial because his crimes bore a resemblance to those of Austrian Josef Fritzl, who kept his daughter locked in a secret bunker for more than 24 years.

Kariem Ali Muhammad-Moore
A local journalist took a picture of the scene Twitter