Police Piece Together Events Leading to Discovery of Tortured Girl and Two …

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Official: Social workers repeatedly visited home of suspect in California child killings.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Child welfare workers repeatedly visited the California home of a woman now under investigation in the deaths of two children to check on complaints of neglect, an official said Wednesday. 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. He 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. 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. 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. 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.

She had open sores and was infested with lice. “This has shaken my staff to the core,” Plumas County sheriff Greg Hagwood told the Plumas News. “That little girl had been subjected to the most unspeakable measure of torture for an extended period of time. This is child abuse, the likes of which we haven’t experienced here.” Deputies arrested Huntsman and Curiel on felony charges of child abuse, torture and mayhem. 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. When detectives began speaking to the couple’s families on Saturday, however, they learned that two other children were unaccounted for: 3-year-old Delylah Tara and 6-year-old Shaun Tara. According to Action News Now, Huntsman became the kids’ guardian after their mother, Huntsman’s sister Vivian Saucedo, was killed in a traffic accident two years ago.

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. Wayne Huntsman, 38, “willfully, unlawfully, and maliciously” set the so-called King Fire, a blaze that eventually burned more than 150 square miles of land near Sacramento and forced thousands of home evacuations, according to NBC.

Few other clues can be found on the Facebook page, which is under the name “Tami Jade (Tami Huntsman).” Huntsman wrote that she “started working at being the best mom I can be” on Aug. 16, 1994, the same day that she had a child, according to the page.

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