Two dead children were found in a Northern California storage unit by officers investigating a child torture case involving a severely injured nine-year-old girl, authorities said Tuesday.
Plumas County Sheriff’s deputies were asked by child protective services workers to check on the welfare of the girl, who was found seriously hurt, the department said in a statement. The child is now hospitalized and undergoing surgeries for “numerous injuries,” said Sheriff Greg Hagwood.
Tami Joy Huntsman, 39, and Gonzalo Curiel, 17, were arrested at the home and charged with felony child abuse, mayhem, and torture, Hagwood said. Both are being held in lieu of $1 million bail.
According to local reports, Curiel is Huntsman’s boyfriend. He will be tried as an adult, authorities said.
The woman had just recently moved to Plumas County, authorities said. Officers searched her former home in Salinas and a storage unit in Redding. At the latter site, the bodies of the two children, a boy and a girl, were found.
Police said Huntsman and Curiel had physical custody of two children, three-year-old Delylah Tara and six-year-old Shaun Tara, who have been reported missing. Authorities would not say if they were the two children found dead inside the storage unit.
The three children in the case are siblings, KSBW-TV reported. Huntsman is not their mother, but had taken them in after the mom was killed in a car accident, the station said. The father did not want custody.
Autopsies are pending. It was not clear when or where the killings occurred, authorities said.
Because the investigation is ongoing, no further details were released, officials said.