Two women from Maryland were arrested after three children were reportedly beaten, locked up and fed—dog feces, authorities said on Wednesday, Jan. 31.
Amanda R. Wright, 29, and Besline Joseph, 25, of Norris Twilley Road in Mardela Springs were charged with multiple counts of child abuse involving the children in their custody, reported USA Today.
The three children aged 8, 9, and 10 were living with Wright and Joseph. Police revealed that since the late spring or early summer of 2017, they endure physical beatings and a number of the beatings were believed to be inflicted with hands, extension cords, belts, sticks, and other objects.
As a result, the children suffered from bloody noses, bruises, and cuts, reported the news website, citing police. Investigators also said the children were assaulted a number of times using an electronic control device. The children were also reportedly locked in closets and in the basement.
“They were also starved, being fed a diet of only bread and water and some oatmeal from time to time again. Investigators learned they were forced to eat dog feces on occasion,” Maj. Greg Shipley of Maryland State Police told WBALTV11.
Authorities said the children were threatened with death if they told anyone about the abuse, reported the news website, citing police.
Each woman was charged with three counts of first-degree child abuse, second-degree child abuse, first-degree assault, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, neglect of a minor, stalking, use of a dangerous weapon with intent to injure, false imprisonment, and one count of causing ingestion of a bodily fluid, preventing/interfering with report of suspected child abuse or neglect, and conspiracy to commit first-degree child abuse, reported USA Today.
“Child abuse is a tragedy and it is something that, unfortunately, can occur in any neighborhood. We’ve seen it recently in the national news. Now (we) see it in a community like this, in Salisbury—Mardela Springs—a very rural community in a quiet area, but it can happen anywhere” Shipley told WBALTV11.
The investigation into the abuse started after Maryland State Police at the Salisbury Barrack received information about the children on Friday, Jan. 26. Child Protective Services officials subsequently removed the children from the home the night the investigation began.
Police did not release any further details in order to protect the identity of the children.