UK & World News
Couple Held After Girl 'Starved And Chained'
A California couple have been arrested on charges of severely neglecting their three children, who police say were found showing signs of starvation and physical abuse.
Authorities announced the arrests of Eraca Dawn Craig, 31, and Christian Jessica Deanda, 44, on Friday, a week after the couple's children were found.
Monterey County Sheriff Scott Miller said although they were arrested at the scene, the charges were not announced until later to allow for further investigation.
The children - two boys, ages three and five, and an eight-year-old girl - were discovered starving in their home in Salinas, California, on March 14.
The girl was said to have been skeletal thin and appeared to have hardly eaten in months.
Police said large chains with a collar were found hanging from a wall in the house, which were wrapped around the girl's neck or leg to prevent her from reaching food.
Miller told reporters: "She was extremely emaciated.
"She's been described as someone who looks like someone who had been in a concentration camp."
Miller said all three children exhibited signs of starvation, physical and emotional abuse, although it was the girl who appeared to have been the main target.
He said she was immediately hospitalised for five days.
"(This is) one of those cases that sticks with you for some time," he said.
"When you've got over 30 years in the business, you've seen way too many of these types of things before... but this is, in terms of child abuse and neglect, this is toward the top."
The case was uncovered by authorities investigating why the children had missed several appointments.
The girl and the older boy were both adopted by the couple, who are domestic partners.
The younger boy is the biological son of one of the women.
All three children have now been taken into protective custody.
The accused have been arraigned in Monterey County Court and are scheduled for a preliminary hearing on March 28.