The bodies of two children, ages 3 and 5, have been found in a storage unit in Redding, California. A third child, a 9-year-old girl, was found in critical condition and remains in a Sacramento-area hospital following surgery. All three victims are siblings, though their names have not been released.
Two suspects have been arrested by Plumas County police on charges of felony child abuse, torture, and mayhem, KSBW reports. The suspects are Tami Joy Huntsman, 39, and her boyfriend Gonzalo Curiel, 17. Both suspects are from Quincy, California.
The Redding Police Department has stated that the case is being investigated as a homicide, and that an autopsy is pending.
The 9-year-old was found injured and starved during a child welfare check to the home of the girl’s guardians Huntsman and Curiel, the Plumas County News reports.
After questioning, Curiel told police the location of the two younger children. Furthermore, two older siblings (12-year-old twins) were with friends at the time and have been placed into foster care.
NBC News reports that the two suspects were arrested by Plumas County deputies on Friday, December 11. The two bodies were discovered on Monday, December 14.
Authorities from the Redding Police Department, Plumas County Sheriff’s Office, and Salinas Police Department are working together on the case.
Quincy is roughly 130 miles from Redding, and 330 miles from Salinas.
Curiel and Huntsman had been residents of Salinas, California, recently.
According to KSBW, an investigation by Salinas Police in connection with the case led them to an apartment complex along Fremont Street. Investigators have not confirmed what they hope to find there. Meanwhile, prosecutors have revealed that the apartment belongs to extended relatives of the three siblings, and that they may have had temporary custody of them.
KRCR of Northern California has quoted Redding Police Chief Robert Paoletti that more information on the case is being withheld because it involves children, and because he is working with two other law enforcement agencies and does not want to jeopardize the case.
Suspects Curiel and Huntsman remain in a Plumas County jail.