Police: 2 children found in storage died somewhere else

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Police Identify Missing Kids Whose Bodies May Have Been Discovered in California Storage Unit.

SAN FRANCISCO — Police in the Northern California city of Redding, where the bodies of a boy and a girl were found inside a storage unit, said Wednesday the children died somewhere else and that police in Salinas, where the children had lived until recently, will lead the investigation. Family members of the children believed found dead in a Redding storage locker Sunday are lashing out online at Tami Joy Huntsman, the woman who had custody of the pair, and at Monterey County officials for not doing more to ensure the children were safe. “The System failed my niece and nephew,” Laura Garcia Miranda wrote on a GoFundMe site set up to pay for their funeral expenses and for the care of a 9-year-old sibling found abused and in Huntsman’s care last week. “Multiple calls were made to do welfare checks, but nothing ever came of it,” Miranda wrote on the site. “Now we have to bury 2 small innocent kids, who will never have the chance to grow up, finish elementary school, play with friends, or even graduate high school.” “How would you like it if someone starved you for months and broke your fingers, broke your bones, broke your jaw so you couldn’t eat or talk,” the children’s older brother wrote on his Facebook page. “(W)ould you like that happening to your kids(?)” The family’s anger spilled out partially over the fact that child protective services workers were called to the Tami Huntsman home in Salinas four times in the last year for reports of general neglect of children there, but no minors were removed from her care.

Police have released the names of the two missing children they suspect are the brother and sister whose remains were recovered Friday from a rented storage unit in Redding, California, on Friday evening. Elliott Robinson, the director of Monterey County’s social services department, said Wednesday that his office received four reports involving the family, most recently in August.

Robinson said he was limited by legal issues over what information he could release, but said social workers responding to such calls typically make efforts to ensure children are cared for and to help work with adults to address any problems in the home. Child welfare workers repeatedly visited the Salinas home of a woman now under investigation in the deaths of two children to check on complaints of neglect, an official said. Two of that father’s children –Shaun Tara, 6, and Delylah Tara, 3 –had been reported as missing by Salinas police and were in the custody of Huntsman and her reported boyfriend, Gonsalvo Curiel, 17, police said. There were four complaints between September 2014 and August about general neglect, a category that includes poor supervision, improper feeding, lice infestation and dirty household conditions, Robinson said, adding that none of the complaints alleged physical abuse.

The AP typically does not identify abuse victims; it is not naming the woman and a teenage suspect because their relationship to the children is unclear. The case first came to light on Friday, when authorities in Quincy in Plumas County received a call that a young girl living on Main Street there was a victim of neglect. Social services officials were reviewing the agency’s handling of the four neglect complaints. “We’re looking at the case to see if there’s anything we should have done differently that could have prevented this tragedy,” Robinson told the San Francisco Chronicle. Tara is currently listed as being held in the Riverside County Jail on charges that include felony possession of a controlled substance, felony possession of a dirk or dagger and probation violations. The children’s mother died Dec. 30, 2013, according to online posts. “RIP to my loving wife, best friend and mother of my beautiful children,” Shaun Tara posted on Facebook Jan. 7, 2014. “dont worry baby i got this!” Another Facebook page called “Justice for Tami Joy Huntsman’s Victims” also was created that chronicles the case through news accounts.

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