SALINAS, California – Three kids, one of them chained to a wall, were rescued from a squalid house in Salinas, Northern California recently and the couple responsible for neglect of their children were placed under arrest in Monterey County, Kare11 reported.
The three starving children, two boys aged 3 and 5, and a girl, were taken into protective custody.
The 8-year-old girl, who was chained to the wall to prevent her from getting food, was skeletal thin and had probably hardly eaten in months, officials said in their report.
Investigators found little food inside the cluttered and dirty home.
All children exhibited bruises and signs of other physical as well as emotional abuse, but the girl seemed “traumatized” and appeared to have suffered the most extreme abuse and had to be hospitalized for about five days, recounted Monterey County Sheriff Scott Miller on Friday.
“It seems that the little girl was the major target of this abuse, like a concentration camp victim. A particularly heinous case,” Miller said.
He added that there was evidence that she was may have been put in the closet as well as that she was sometimes shackled at the ankle and at other times by a collar around her neck. The authorities found twin heavy chains with a collar at the end hanging from the wall about four feet off the ground.
Investigation revealed she was chained to the wall of the residence from time to time and was denied food.
The couple arrested were Eraca Dwan Craig, 31, and Christian Jessica Deanda, 44, who are domestic partners. They seemed to be making preparations to leave prior to their arrest, authorities said. They do not appear to have criminal records in Monterey County.
They were both initially charged with felony child endangerment in regard to their 8-year-old daughter, but are now also facing additional charges of false imprisonment, a felony, plus child neglect and child abuse; both misdemeanors, in regard to the two boys.
Investigation showed that the girl and the older boy were adopted, while the younger boy is the biological son of one of the women.
They faced arraigned in Monterey County Court on Tuesday and were scheduled for a preliminary hearing on March 28 but it was postponed.
Should Craig or Deanda make bail, which might be increased from $50,000 to $500,000 for each woman, neither is allowed to leave the state without the court’s permission, Judge Richard Curtis of Monterey County Superior Court said.
The judge further ordered that the women have no contact with the children.
“No calls, no texts, no emails, no third-person contact,” he said.
The children have been placed in foster care.