true crime

Toddlers found chained up "like dogs" outside a house.

Trigger warning: This post details child abuse.

A mother of six has been arrested after two toddlers were found chained up “like dogs” during a raid on a Texas home.

Police discovered a total of eight unsupervised children, aged between 10 months and 13 years old, at a home near San Antonio after an anonymous caller tipped them off.

A two-year-old boy was found chained to a tree by his ankle during the raid on Thursday night, while a three-year-old girl–believed to be the boy’s sister – was tied to a door with a dog leash.

Photo: KSAT/CNN

Bexar County Sheriff’s Office spokesman James Keith said authorities discovered the disturbing scene after receiving a call late on Thursday night to report possible child abuse. The caller said a child could be heard crying loudly, and had been crying in the backyard for some time.

Police heard no response when they knocked on the front door, and the house had bars covering the windows and posters obstructing the view inside. When they used a ladder to peer over the back fence they spotted the two young siblings..

"There was no slack in the chain. His pants were down. You could tell he'd been here for a while," Bexar County Sheriff's Office spokesman James Keith told CNN of the little boy's appearance.

"And then a short distance away, a three-year-old girl who was tied to a door with a dog leash who was just exhausted."

Police then entered the home and found the other six children. There were no adults in the house to care for them.

child abuse girl teddy pink dress
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(Photo: iStock)

The little girl, who has a broken arm, is in intensive care at a children’s hospital in Texas.  Her brother has also been treated for superficial injuries including abrasions and scarring.

The children's neighbour Michelle Williams told Kens5 Eyewitness News she was the person who called police when she heard the kids crying.

“For three weeks I was listening to it,” Williams told Ken5 EyeWitness News. “I felt bad, I felt real bad. I only wish I made the call sooner.”

The mother of six of the children, Porucha Phillips, has been arrested and charged with one count of injury to a child by omission resulting in bodily injury and another resulting in serious bodily injury.

The father of those children is being questioned, although he was reportedly at work at the time of the incident. Is it understood he has cooperated with the investigation so far.

The parents or guardians of the two toddlers who were chained up have not yet been found.

Authorities are now investigating a report that a day care might have been operating out of the home.

Photo: Bexar County Sheriff's Office spokesman James Keith talking to KSAT.

“It’s sickening. To call this horrific would be an understatement,"Keith told local media. "If it wasn’t for our deputies and this caller who tipped us off, we know that this could have had an even worse outcome.”

"I would describe it as disgusting," District Attorney Nicholas LaHood said of the incident, Toronto Star reports. "It shocks your conscience."

Keith encouraged anybody who ever suspects child abuse to report it without hesitation.

"We are grateful that this person was brave enough to call us and that our deputies were able to respond when they did," he told KSAT.

Child Protective Services said it had no prior involvement with the family, KSAT reports. According to Ken5 EyeWitness News all eight children are now in protective custody, and will be placed in temporary care, either with foster parents or relatives.

Child Wise National Child Abuse Helpline: 1800 99 10 99. Kids Helpline: 1800551800.

Feature photo: KSAT/CNN

Tags: current-affairs , kids , parenting-2
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