Parents Charged After Missing Child Leads Police to 10 Kids 'Living in Squalor' as Mom Denies Abuse
Ten children were removed from a home in Fairfield, California, after police discovered they were “living in squalor and unsafe conditions.”
Fairfield Police Department announced, Monday, that the discovery was sparked after a 12-year-old child was reported missing on March 31. When the juvenile was located and returned to the home by police, they discovered nine more children, ranging in age from 4 months old to 11 years old.
Fairfield Police Lt. Greg Hurlbut said during a press conference on Monday that feces, garbage and rotten food littered the floor of the home, according to NBC Bay Area.
All 10 children were taken into protective custody by Solano County Child Welfare Services, police said.
The children’s mother — Ina Rogers, 30 — was arrested and booked into Solano County Jail for child neglect on March 31. She was released after posting $10,000 bail on April 9, Fox News reported.
A joint investigation by the Fairfield Police Department’s Family Violence Unit with Child Welfare Services and the Solano County District Attorney’s Office uncovered “a long and continuous history of severe physical and emotional abuse of the children,” police said.
Sharon Henry, chief deputy district attorney for Solano County, said at a news conference that the alleged abuse was done with “sadistic purpose,” according to the Washington Post.
“Based upon what the children stated in their interviews, we believe torture occurred in this house,” she said.
The Solano County District Attorney’s Office directed PEOPLE to the press conference when asked for further comment.
The children’s father — Jonathan Allen, 29 — was booked into the Solano County Jail for seven counts of felony torture and nine counts of felony child abuse on May 11, according to online records. The Washington Post reported that Allen pleaded not guilty in court on Monday. He is being held for over $5 million bail.
The Solano County Public Defender’s office did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for information on Rogers’ or Allen’s representation.
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Rogers called the charges “ludicrous” when speaking to reporters in front of her house on Monday, according to NBC Bay Area.
“There’s no broken bones, there is no major scars, nothing,” the mother said. “My kids get bumped and bruised and scratched because they’re kids but that’s it.”
All the kids slept on cots in one bedroom, but Rogers said that was by their own choice, NBC reported. She added that her oldest child ran away after she took away his tablet as a punishment, and their home was messy due to their frantic search for him.
Rogers added that she and her husband are great parents.
“My husband has a lot of tattoos. He looks like a scary individual, and that’s why people are so quick to judge him,” she said, according to the Washington Post. “But my husband is an amazing person. I am an amazing mother.”
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The situation bears similarities to a mid-January discovery in Perris, California, when police uncovered the 13 children of David and Louise Turpin had apparently been living in a house of horrors. Allegedly kept malnourished from lack of food and regularly abused, nearly all of the kids had also been imprisoned and tortured in the home, authorities believe.