When police in San Antonio, Texas, responded to a home there after receiving a late-night complaint on April 29 regarding a child crying, responders discovered a total of eight young children that were home alone. Horrifically, police also discovered “a 2-year-old boy chained in the backyard and a 3-year-old girl tied to a door with a dog leash,” according to an Associated Press report shared by ABC News.
After police had been on the scene for a while, the mother arrived at the residence and was promptly charged with two felonies regarding the neglected and restrained kids. Investigators believe that the woman is the mother to six of the children found at the scene, but not the two-year-old boy and three-year-old girl that were chained and tied, who police believe to be siblings but not not related to the woman.
Nicholas LaHood, District Attorney for Bexar County, described the scene as disgusting. “It shocks your conscience when you think what kind of individual could treat children, who in my opinion are gifts from God, like this,” according to ABC.
One of the toddlers found outside had a metal chain strapped to his ankle with the other end of the chain fixed to the ground, said Bexar County Sheriff’s Office spokesman James Keith. “It was the same kind of setup you would use for a dog,” he said, according to ABC News.
My San Antonio identified the mother as 34-year-old Porucha Phillips. Officials charged her with “one third-degree felony count of injury to a child by omission resulting in bodily injury and another resulting in serious bodily injury, a first-degree felony.” Deputies with Bexar County Sheriff’s Office said that they witnessed a horrific case of child abuse regarding the eight kids, and also reported Phillips is pregnant.
The children at the home ranged in age from 10 months to 13 years old. Two of the children had to be hospitalized, one with a broken arm. The six children that didn’t require hospitalization were placed into foster care. A spokesperson for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services was concerned that the kids could be malnourished.
The father of six of the children showed up at the home after returning from work while deputies were still on the scene. He’s still being questioned. Officials with the Texas Child Welfare Service are investigating a complaint that an unlicensed home day care service may have been operating out of the residence.