A woman has been charged after police found two injured toddlers chained up in her backyard and six other abused children inside the house.
WARNING: Distressing details
Porucha Phillips, 34, was arrested in San Antonio, Texas after concerned neighbours called cops to report a crying child.
UPDATE 10 May
News.com.au reports the two young children found chained outside a Texas home had suffered hundreds of scars and injuries from months, perhaps years, of abuse, a sheriff’s official said.
Doctors who treated the children found old injuries indicating a long period of abuse.
One of them also was suffering from hypothermia and had a broken arm resulting from the way she was tied to a garage door using a dog leash, Bexar County sheriff’s spokesman James Keith said.
Authorities initially said the children were two- and three-years-old, but Keith says they may be a year older.
“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,” Keith said, explaining that deputies went to the home after a neighbour called about a child who could be heard crying for hours.
“There was obvious evidence that a switch had been used on the children,” Keith said, referring to a slim tree branch.
An update from Bexar County Sheriff’s Office states, Porucha Phillips remains in the Bexar County Adult Detention Center on charges of Injury to a Child by Omission with Serious Bodily Injury and Injury to a Child by Omission with Bodily Injury.
Bexar County Sheriff’s Office stated – A caller told dispatchers a child could be heard crying in the backyard for a long period of time. When deputies arrived, they found two toddlers in the backyard. One of the toddlers was chained to the ground; the other was tied to a door with a dog leash. Deputies set both children free. They were then transported to The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio where they are currently being treated for a variety of issues.
Inside the home Deputies found six children, ranging in age from 10 months to 13-years-old. All of the children were without adult supervision.
Early this morning parents of the six children returned to the house. Both were taken into custody and are being questioned by BCSO investigators. Investigators are also working to track down the parent(s) of the two children who were found outside. Charges are pending.
All of the children are now in the care of Child Protective Services.
“I would describe it as disgusting,” Bexar County District Attorney Nicholas LaHood said of the scene. “It shocks your conscience when you think what kind of individual could treat children, who in my opinion are gifts from God, like this.”
Bexar County Sheriff’s Office spokesman James Keith said the restraints were “the same kind of setup you would use for a dog.”
The Courier Mail reported, “They were exhausted, tired, dehydrated. There was evidence that they had been previously abused, it makes you sick to see something like this, it makes you angry,” Keith said.
“To call this horrific is an understatement, this is as disturbing as it comes. Everybody is bothered by this. It motivates you to fight harder to make sure this is taken care of.”
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