Authorities in Monterey County, CA rescued three children from an abusive home late last week. The police came to the home to do a wellness check after the children —who were homeschooled— failed to appear at an unspecified appointment. What they found at the home of Eraca Dawn Craig, a former counselor, and Christian Jessica Deanda, a former detention officer, was heartbreaking. The children, two boys and one girl, were living in squalid conditions and being subjected to abuse of the most heinous order:
The girl appeared to have been the most abused, deputies said, though all three had bruises and other marks and appeared to be malnourished.
Officers said they found signs the girl had been chained to the wall about 4 feet above the floor and said she may also have been held in a closet. It appeared she had been shackled at times at the ankle and at other times by a collar around her neck.
Miller said it appeared she had "hardly eaten for months."
The girl and a 5-year-old boy were adopted, he said, while a 3-year-old boy is the biological son of one of the women, who are domestic partners.
What's worse is that police state that there were signs that the women were planning to leave the area before they were discovered, meaning that the children's suffering could have been prolonged if officers had not stepped in.
According to Monterey County Sheriff, the girl was hospitalized for five days immediately upon rescue and appeared to be very traumatized. And Milled stated that rescuing children from an abusive situation is only the beginning of their journey towards recovery.
Authorities only released information about the arrest yesterday because they wanted to wait until the arrested couple were charged and arraigned. They will appear in court on March 28th and both women face charges of felony child cruelty and false imprisonment, among others. Neither woman has a previous arrest record in Monterey County.
Image via San Jose Mercury News.