Concerned Citizen’s Call Led To Discovery Of Two Dead Children In Storage Locker, Another Severely Abused

Earlier today, a disturbing story broke as the bodies of two children were discovered in a storage locker in Redding, California, while a third child had been admitted to the hospital in critical condition after being found severely abused. A couple was arrested in relation to the case. The events all sprung from a concerned citizen’s call to the authorities on Friday at 3:00 p.m. requesting that they check on some children who may be in danger.

That call led to the arrest of a couple who had just moved into the town after the authorities across three different counties untangled a case involving a severely abused and deliberately disfigured 9-year-old girl and the discovery of the bodies of siblings aged 3- and 5-years-old inside several rubber storage containers in a storage locker. Autopsies have been scheduled.

Authorities in Plumas County will be charging Tami Joy Huntsman and Gonzalo Curiel with felony child abuse, torture and mayhem, which Daily Mail explains is a charge for when someone intentionally disfigures another person.

Plumas County child protective services received the call on Friday by a citizen who was concerned about several children in a home and asked that their welfare be investigated. The Welfare check on Friday is what led to the first disturbing aspect of the case. The 9-year-old was found weighing only 40 pounds and bearing a dislocated jaw, missing teeth broken fingers and multiple severe fractures. The little girl was in such bad shape that Sheriff Greg Hagwood says the office is expected to grant leave to several persons who were so shaken by the sight of what the abused child had been forced to endure.

“When you see what has been done to a beautiful little 9-year-old girl… Anyone not affected needs to get some help.”

The deputy who responded to the call found the child locked inside a vehicle parked near the Main Street apartment that the two suspects had recently moved. Tami Joy Huntsman, a 39-year-old and her boyfriend Gonzalo Curiel, 17, had just moved from the Salinas area with what was then believed to be only three children last week. Two 12-year-old twins and the 9-year-old girl moved into a friend’s apartment. The 9-year-old girl is believed to have been the child of Huntsman’s sister that she had been given custody of after the mother killed herself. The twins, a boy and girl, were placed into foster care.

The police first thought that the case only involved child abuse, but by Sunday, the Plumas County authorities received a call from a Monterey County person asking about the condition of a a 3-year-old and a 6-year-old who were attached to the family. The Sheriff spoke to The Sacramento Bee and said that was the first time they had gotten any indication there were other children involved.

“We knew nothing about a 6-year-old and a 3-year-old. That was the first we knew anything. The information was very specific and very credible.

With this knowledge in hand the authorities questioned Huntsman and Curiel in prison and that’s when they found out about the storage locker in Redding and those authorities were notified. Redding officials discovered the bodies in a storage locker at Enterprise Stor-All and a homicide investigation was launched.

Officially, the bodies of the deceased children have not been identified, but the authorities have reported that Huntsman and Curiel were known to have had two small children in their custody– Delylah Tara, 3, and Shaun Tara, 6 – both of whom had been reported as missing earlier. None of the children’s’ relationship to Huntsman has been related to the public officially but it is also thought that the twins were biologically hers. Their father is suspected to be Chris Criswell, of Salinas. Criswell is allegedly planning to gain custody of the twins.

Huntsman has previously been charged with felony burglary, grant theft, possession of a controlled substance as well as child abuse and child endangerment. Huntsman and Curiel face up to life in prison on their current charges.

[Photo Courtesy of Derrick R. Audette/Shutterstock]