Four children in Arizona were denied access to food and water and from using the bathroom while being locked inside a room by their adoptive parents, authorities said.
Benito Gutierrez, 69, and Carol Gutierrez, 64, were booked on charges of child abuse Tuesday after the children were found living in the horrifying conditions, according to a Pima CountySheriff’s Office press release.
Police were led to the Gutierrez’s home after one of the children escaped through a bedroom window and asked to use a phone at a nearby Family Dollar on Saturday.
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Worried about the boy’s age and disheveled appearance, store employees called 911, according to the release.
When authorities arrived at the home, they found the couple’s four children were being kept in squalor. Each child was confined to their own bedroom, locked from the outside.
The children, whose ages range from 6 to 12, were regularly denied access to food, water, lights, or bathroom facilities for up to 12 hours at a time, according to the release.
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One bedroom had a bucket that was used as a toilet. The children were immediately removed from the home.