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article imageThree starving and bruised children found in California home

By Arthur Weinreb     Mar 22, 2014 in Crime
Salinas - When Monterey County deputies went to a Salinas area home, they discovered three malnourished and injured children, one of whom was chained to the wall. Two women, domestic partners, were arrested and charged.
The announcement of the arrests was made yesterday by officials with the Monterey County Sheriff's Office. Deputies were asked to do a welfare check at the home after an unspecified appointment had been missed. On March 14, they found three children in the home located just outside Salinas.
In the home were three children; two boys aged three and five and an eight-year-old girl. All three children were described as malnourished and bruised but the girl appeared to have taken the brunt of the mistreatment. Sheriff Scott Miller described her as "looking like a concentration camp victim."
There were signs in the home that the girl had been chained to wall and may have been held in a closet. She had marks indicating she had been shackled both around the ankle and had had a collar around her neck. Authorities believe she was chained in order to prevent her from obtaining food. The children were apparently being home schooled and did not leave the home.
The two boys were immediately put into foster care while the girl spent five days in hospital and was described as being "very traumatized."
Eraca Dawn Craig, 31, and Christian Jessica Deanda, 44, were charged with several offences including felony child cruelty and false imprisonment.
The three-year-old boy is reported to be the biological son of one of the women while the other two children were adopted.
In describing the situation where the home was described as dirty and cluttered and contained very little food, Miller said, "This was a particular heinous case. The children had hardly eaten for months." When deputies arrived it appeared the women and children were preparing to move.
According to online profiles, Deanda quit her job to stay home with her children. She described herself as having previously worked as an HIV prevention case manager, a psychosocial therapy manager and a program manager at a transitional housing facility for men. Deanda also said she and her partner had had a cactus nursery before she decided to stay home with the children.
Craig described herself as an auto mechanic who had previously worked as a correctional officer.
Both women remain in custody and a preliminary hearing has been scheduled for March 28.
More about eraca dawn craig, christian jessica deanda, Child neglect, Starving Children
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