Two children were found dead in a California storage unit amid a child abuse investigation earlier this week.
According to KSBW, the bodies of a 3-year-old girl and a 6-year-old boy were found in a storage locker in Redding, California,which is located 300 miles north of San Francisco, the Redding Police Department said on Tuesday. The gruesome discovery was made while the police were investigating a call they had received about a possible case of child abuse in the small Northern California town of Quincy.
According to a news release from the Plumas County Sheriff’s Office, the authorities discovered a starving 9-year-old girl at the Quincy home after being alerted by the Plumas County Child Protective Services that they had found the juvenile starving and on the verge of death. When the police located the unidentified girl, who is a sibling to the two deceased children, she had sustained numerous injuries and was taken to a hospital to receive treatment.
As of Tuesday, there was no word on her current condition, but the Daily Mail reports she only weighed approximately 40 pounds when she was found. She also had “broken bones in her shoulder, broken fingers, a dislocated jaw, and teeth that were missing or loose.” Open sores and lice were also found covering her body.
“This has shaken my staff to the core,” Sheriff Greg Hagwood said. “That little girl had been subjected to the most unspeakable measure of torture for an extended period of time. This is child abuse, the likes of which we haven’t experienced here (in Plumas County).
Authorities investigating Salinas apartment possibly linked to 2 children found dead in a storage locker in Redding. https://t.co/C6ZvxwVnpU
— NBC Bay Area (@nbcbayarea) December 15, 2015
Tami Joy Huntsman, 39, and Gonzalo Curiel, 17, of Quincy, were arrested and booked into the Plumas County Jail on charges of felony child abuse, torture and mayhem. They are currently being held on a $1 million bond. According to the police, the case is being investigated as a homicide pending completion of autopsies, which are scheduled to take place on Wednesday. As of now, it is not clear how, or where, the children died. Although Curiel is only 17-years-old, authorities say he will be tried as an adult. Attorney Douglas Prouty is representing Huntsman and Robert Zernich is representing Curiel. Both attorneys declined to comment on the ongoing investigation.
CSI units enter a Salinas house in connection with 2 dead children found in a Redding, CA storage locker today. pic.twitter.com/AUFA5O2ws0
— Nic Coury (@photographNic) December 15, 2015
“Due to the circumstances surrounding the incident, further investigation was required for possible additional victims. This led to the discovery of two deceased (kids) inside a storage unit in the city of Redding,” Plumas County Sheriff’s Sgt. Steve Peay said.
According to the Associated Press, reported via the Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Huntsman, Curiel, and the children moved from Salinas to a friend’s house in Quincy, California earlier this year. Elliott Robinson, director of social services for Monterey County, said they had been investigating Huntsman, who is related to the children but is not their mother, for general neglect since their move. Huntsman was reportedly started caring for the children when their mother was struck by a car and killed. Their father later gave up custody, and Huntsman took the children to raise with her 12-year-old twins, who were taken by Child Protective Services and placed in foster care following her arrest.
— Perez Hilton (@PerezHilton) December 15, 2015
“This is an unspeakable tragedy. I don’t understand. And I don’t think anybody can fully appreciate the measure of suffering and pain and terror that people inflict on one another,” Hagwood said.
The Plumas County Sheriff’s Office, Redding Police Department, and Salinas Police Department are currently investigating the circumstance surrounding the children’s death. More information is expected to be released later this week.
“We are still deep into the investigation,” Salinas Police Chief Kelly McMillin said.
Because of their ages, the identities of the victims are being withheld at this time. More information will be shared as it becomes available.
[Photo via Redding Police Department]