Police have rescued four children from a 'house of horrors', following allegations that their adoptive parents locked them in separate rooms for 12 hours at a time with no access to toilets, food, water or light.
This came as one of the children managed to break free from their Arizona home and ran to a nearby convenience store to contact authorities.
Benito and Carol Gutierrez, aged 69 and 64 respectively, were arrested on suspicion of child abuse.
It is understood that police will allege that the children, aged from six to 12, were forced to use a bucket in one room as a toilet and were living in horrific conditions.
It is unknown how long the children had been in the adoptive care of the couple, and if they are related to eachother.
Apparently the children did interact with others at school and managed to eat two meals while at school, according to detectives.
On Saturday February 17, 2018, deputies responded to a residence in the 4100 block of North Flowing Wells Road regarding suspicious activity involving a child. When deputies arrived, they discovered a male child had asked to use the phone at a Family Dollar store in the area. The clerk, noting the age and disheveled condition of the child, called 911. Deputies went to the child’s residence and found four children, ages six to twelve, lived there with their adoptive parents. During the course of the investigation it was discovered the children were kept in separate bedrooms, which were locked from the outside, with no access to food, water, lights, or bathroom facilities for up to twelve hours at a time on a regular basis. One bedroom had only a bucket as a toilet. The child had been able to leave the residence through a bedroom window. The four children were immediately removed from the home. The investigation led to the arrests of Benito Gutierrez, age 69, and Carol Gutierrez, age 64, each for three counts of Child Abuse. Tonight, Benito and Carol Gutierrez were booked into the Pima County Adult Detention Complex on the aforementioned charges. This investigation is ongoing and more information will be released as it becomes available.
- Pima County Sheriff's Department
The children have been removed from the home.
This comes only a short time after the Californian incident involving David and Louise Turpin, who are on trial currently for the alleged abuse of their 13 children aged two to 29.