Three parents have been charged with crimes after two young children were found chained outside their Texas home with hundreds of scars. One of the women in the house, who has six children, is pregnant again.
According to the Associated Press, a neighbor contacted authorities about a child who had been crying for hours. When police arrived at the home in San Antonio, they found two children under the age of 5 in the backyard.
“There was obvious evidence that a switch had been used on the children,” said James Keith, Bexar County sheriff’s spokesman.
One child was tied to the garage door with a leash, and had been suffering from hypothermia and a broken arm, police say. Her brother was reportedly tied to the ground using a dog chain and had allegedly been left outside in the rain.
“Unfortunately, child abuse is a major problem here, and in this case we’re just glad we were able to find these children before any further harm could occur to them,” said Keith.
Cheryl Reed, mother of the two children, is in custody and facing two charges of injury to a child.
“We have confirmed with medical doctors that these children suffered hundreds of injuries, and hundreds is not an exaggeration,” Keith said, reports Reuters. “They had multiple scars, multiple bruises. Many of them were fresh, and others were old.”
Six other children aged 10 months to 10 years were found inside the home. Although none of them had any apparent signs of physical abuse, authorities are trying to determine the mental distress cause by living in the home.
All eight children were taken into state custody.
Two other individuals, Deandre Dorch and Porucha Phillips, are also facing charges. Phillips, who is pregnant, is the mother of the six uninjured children, and Dorch is the father of some of the children.
In November 2015, Reed moved to San Antonio from California with her children and returned to address a child protective matter.
“Dorch may have threatened those children and their mother after she left the state,” Keith said. “Right now it looks like Dorch and Phillips wanted money from her.”
Both are facing charges of injury to a child by omission. Phillips is in custody.
Reuters reported that Dorch was charged with child abuse. He told authorities Reed had used a switch on the children several times, but he did not report the occurrences because “he is not a snitch and he’s not God.”