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Toddlers Found Chained In San Antonio Backyard

Camelot-House.JPG
Joey Palacios
/
Texas Public Radio
Deputies found two toddlers restrained by chains and a leash in the backyard of this home in the Camelot II neighborhood.

Eight San Antonio children are in the custody of Child Protective Services after Bexar County sheriff’s deputies found two toddlers chained in a backyard on the city’s northeast side.

The home at the corner of Chipping Drive and Stockport is one of several connected housing units. On Thursday neighbors heard the cries of a toddler.

“We had heard it earlier in the day and then we had left, and when we came back you could still hear the baby crying,” said Chris Clanton, who lives four houses away.

Clanton said neighbors tried to peer over the fence to see the children but their view was obstructed. 

“We thought it was one (child) but it ended up being two back there. You could hear one kid crying talking about, ‘mama, mama please,’ ” Clanton added.

He said his knocks at the door went unanswered.

“We were just wondering what to do, and then finally one of the neighbors called the cops after the baby had been crying all day long,” he said.

Deputies went to the home after receiving the 911 call around 11:30 p.m. Thursday. They found the children alone and a horrific scene.

“They found a two-year old boy who was chained with a metal chain to the ground. They found a little girl who was tied up with a dog leash to a door. Both of them, exhausted, dehydrated, upset, had bruising, scratches, obvious signs of previous abuse and current abuse,” said Bexar County Sheriff spokesman James Keith.  He said the little girl also had a broken arm.

Inside, the deputies found six more children ranging from 10 months to 13 years in age.

The two children restrained outside are now at the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio.  

Keith says that when the parents returned early Friday morning, deputies arrested 34-year-old Porucha Phillips. She faces two charges of injury to a child.  He says Phillips' husband was questioned but has not been charged or identified. Authorities believe Phillips and her husband are the parents of the six children found inside the home. Authorities believe the two children outside were left in Phillips’ care but the relationship is unknown. They don’t know how long the children had been alone.

“We believe that she did live there, that her and her husband have only lived there for a few months and that they may have been out of state,” Keith said.

Clanton said he rarely saw the parents.

“She should have known how to take care of the children. If she going to have all them children she need to know that’s a responsibility, those are lives you’re responsible for, you don’t treat them like animals,” Clanton said.