Child Abuse Investigation Into Children Chained Outside Continues
A second woman has been charged in a Bexar County child abuse case in which two toddlers were found bound in a backyard. Six others children were unsupervised inside the home. Investigators are still trying to determine the circumstances that led to the abuse.
The investigation has so far resulted in two mothers being jailed on child abuse charges. There’s now an arrest warrant for the father of some of the children. All eight children are now in the custody of Child Protective Services.
The latest arrest was Cheryl Reed on Thursday night. She’s the mother of the two restrained children. Investigators believe she left them with Porucha Phillips, but just why she did that is unclear. Phillips was arrested last week.
Reeds arrest was just the latest move on the part of authorities who are working to figure out why her children were left outside in inhumane conditions while no adult was home.
Bexar County spokesman James Keith describes what deputies found after a neighbor called to report hearing the children cry for hours. We’d like to caution you that the details are disturbing.
“ The little boy was chained with a metal chain to the ground with little to no slack, his pants were down. He was dirty, wet," Keith says. "It appeared he may have been exposed to rain. The little girl was tied to a door with a dog leash. Where she was she was protected somewhat from the weather but she was still outside and ended up suffering from hypothermia. Both of them were severely dehydrated. They were exhausted and they had hundreds of markings that indicated previous and current abuse.”
Investigators do not know how long the children were alone. They do not know how long the children had been tied up outside. They also do not know how the three adults are connected, but they think Phillips – the mother in charge of the children -may have left them alone to go play Bingo.
"We believe that these children endured a ton of suffering and a ton of abuse. Based on what the medical examiners were able to see when they looked at these young people. They had hundreds of scratches, scars, bruises, wounds that indicated they had endured abuse prior to this incident and recently," Keith says.
This case was just one of four high profile child abuse cases in the San Antonio area during the past week, including a case where a 2 month old died, and another where a 1-year-old died.
“We’ve got to step up and if you think a child is being abused or someone is being harmed be courageous and speak up," Keith says. "You may save their life. That’s what happened in this situation. A neighbor heard the cry. She called and we were able to get to these children before they were hurt any further or even worse."
Keith says it’s a lesson in how neighbors – and the community- can help protect children, by speaking up.