Texas authorities said Tuesday they removed 11 children from a crowded home where a registered sex offender lives after they found eight confined in a small, dark bedroom with restraints tying some to their beds.
Along with the children, 10 adults were living in the one-story, 1,700-square-foot home in Dayton, about 30 miles northeast of Houston, Child Protective Services spokeswoman Gwen Carter said. One month after a raid on the house, authorities are still trying to determine how the children are related and why they were there, she said.
The children ranged in age from 5 months to 11 years. Three who were age 5 or older had not been enrolled in school, Carter said.
The children were removed after authorities found two 2-year-old children tied to a bed during a January visit to the home, according to a court document.
A legally blind, 5-year-old girl "was in a restraint on a filthy mattress, and appeared to be in a daze," the document said. One child had a black eye and knocked-out tooth.
The adults told investigators they tied the children when they slept or took a nap during the day "for safety," the document said. An investigator noted that none of the adults said they saw anything wrong with the arrangement.
Two of the children had what authorities feared was pneumonia and were taken to a children's hospital. All have since been placed in foster homes, Carter said.
The case is still under investigation, and Dayton Police Sgt. Doug O'Quinn said officials are looking into criminal charges. Liberty County District Attorney Mike Little said his office would present a case to a grand jury next month, but he declined to discuss possible suspects or charges.
"Our primary concern was to make sure that the children were stable and safe," Carter said.
The home with a "No Trespassing" sign out front is in a subdivision near land used for farming and ranching. A tricycle and other toys were in the backyard Tuesday, and several cars were parked outside.
People leaving the home declined to talk to media assembled outside, and other residents and their relatives declined to comment or didn't respond to phone messages. Continued...