In a shocking case of alleged child abuse, one toddler has been found tied to a door with a dog leash, and another chained to the ground in the backyard of a San Antonio, Texas home. The two toddlers, a boy and girl, were found outside the house on Thursday while another six children were located inside.
Police were alerted at 11:45 p.m. by a call from a neighbor who told dispatchers they had heard a child crying for a, “long period of time.” When they arrived at the house, deputies found the two children restrained by ropes and chains in the backyard.
Deputies immediately released the toddlers and they were taken to Christus Santa Rosa Children’s hospital for assessment. According to a news release, they are receiving treatment for a “variety of issues.”
Child Protective Services issued a statement advising that the toddlers, aged two and three-years-old, may also be malnourished. One has a fractured wrist and arm, while the other has scarring and abrasions.
The six children found inside the house range in age from 10-months to 13-years-old. There were no adults present to supervise them when police arrived at the home.
Porucha Phillips, the 36-year-old mother of the six children inside, did not return to the house until Friday. She was immediately taken into police custody and is undergoing questioning by investigators.
Authorities have confirmed that Phillips was responsible for the two toddlers tied up outside. She faces charges of injury to a child by omission with serious bodily injury.
Phillips has denied restraining the toddlers. She claims the children’s parents left them with her and she had planned to take them to authorities because she was unable to look after them.
Police are still trying to track down the parents of the two toddlers. All of the children found at the house are being cared for by Texas Child Protective Services and charges are pending. The agency advised they have had no previous contact with the family.
James Keith, a spokesman from the Bexar County Sheriff’s office, stated:
“To describe this as disturbing is an understatement. This is a sick, disturbing, horrific crime.”