Women starved three children, chained them to the floor, and physically and emotionally abused them for years before the domestic couple was arrested for their heinous crimes. As a parent especially, this story will make you sick to your stomach.
According to NBC New York on March 22, “Eraca Dawn Craig, 31, and Christian Jessica Deanda, 44, were arrested for numerous child abuse-related cases.” They pleaded not guilty last week to all charges.
Three starving children were found in the couple’s Northern California home, which authorities described as "squalid." The lesbian pair lived in the filthy home with three young children – boys ages 3 and 5, and an 8-year-old girl. All three were removed, hospitalized, and are now in protective custody.
The 8-year-old girl appears to have suffered the brunt of abuse, authorities said. She was found shackled and chained to the floor, with evidence on her body of extreme physical abuse and indications that she had been forced to wear a “neck collar.”
Monterey County Sheriff Scott Miller said Friday that child investigators went to the couple’s home after two of the children missed appointments.
"It was a particularly heinous case," Miller said, adding that it appeared the children had "hardly eaten for months."
Miller’s words describing the girl were chilling. He said she spent five days in the hospital and appeared “traumatized.”
"It seems that the little girl was the major target of this abuse," Miller said. “She looked like a concentration camp victim."
The women were arraigned last Tuesday and are scheduled for a preliminary hearing on March 28.
According to NBC, the girl and the older of the two boys were adopted by the couple. The youngest boy is the biological son of one of the women.