The two children found dead in a storage unit in Redding, California, are believed to be 3-year-old Delylah Tara and her 6-year-old brother Shaun. The discovery of the bodies of the two dead children came after police began an investigation into the torture of a 9-year-old girl.
The 9-year-old girl is fighting for her life in a hospital, reports KSBW on December 15. Police have arrested 39-year-old Tami Joy Huntsman of Quincy, California, and her 17-year-old boyfriend, Gonzalo Curiel. According to a Redding Police Department press release, both are being charged with “felony child abuse, torture, and mayhem.”
The Redding Police Department, the Salinas Police Department, and the Plumas County Sheriff’s Office are jointly investigating the case of the tortured 9-year-old girl and the two dead children that were found in the storage unit since Huntsman, her boyfriend, and several children lived in a Salinas apartment on Fremont Street until a week ago before moving to a friend’s house in Quincy, California.
On Friday, December 11, a concerned citizen called Plumas County Child Protective Services in regard to an emaciated 9-year-old girl living in the apartment in Quincy. A police officer investigating the report found the 9-year-old girl locked inside a vehicle parked near the Main Street apartment that Huntsman and her boyfriend had moved to.
According to Plumas County Sheriff Greg Hagwood, the 9-year-old girl weighed only about 40 pounds and was starving and dying. She “had multiple fractures, including broken fingers and a dislocated jaw, and was missing teeth,” said Hagwood. “Some officials were so shaken by the abuse the girl endured that he expects to grant them leave to recover.”
What officials did not expect on Friday was that the case of the tortured 9-year-old girl would turn even worse. On Sunday, Plumas County authorities received a call from someone in Monterey County asking about the condition of a 6-year-old and a 3-year-old after Huntsman and her boyfriend had been arrested on Friday in the torture case.
When questioning the two suspects about the two younger children, detectives learned about the storage locker in Redding and after breaking the lock of the storage unit, the two children were found dead. Huntsman is reportedly the 9-year-old girl’s aunt and had custody of the girl. Huntsman is also the biological mother of 12-year-old twins that are now in protective custody
Huntsman, who is originally from Santa Cruz County, has faced child endangerment and child abuse charges twice in past years. “In June 1997, Huntsman was charged with felony burglary, grand theft and abuse/child endangerment. Those charges were dismissed, and she was convicted of being an accessory to a felony after the fact,” show Superior Court records. “Eight months later, she was charged with possession of drugs for sale and child endangerment. Huntsman was later acquitted of the endangerment charge and convicted of possession of a controlled substance.”
As of Tuesday evening, the two dead children found in the storage unit and the 9-year-old girl who is fighting for her life in a Sacramento hospital are part of an ongoing investigation. So far, police have not confirmed the relationship of Huntsman, who has also used the name Criswell (a man she once lived with and might have been married to), and the two children who were found dead in the storage unit.