The bodies of two young children were found stuffed into plastic tote containers inside a self-storage unit at Enterprise Stor-All in Redding, Calif. Police uncovered the bodies of a 3-year-old girl and 6-year-old boy on Dec. 13. Investigators learned of the missing children after arresting 39-year-old Tami Joy Huntsman and her 17-year-old boyfriend, Gonzalo Curiel, on Dec. 11, in a related child-welfare case, according to the “Plumas County News.”
The welfare check in East Quincy, Calif., led authorities to a 9-year-old girl, who was injured and locked inside a vehicle. Investigators described the girl as “starving,” with broken fingers, broken bones in her shoulder and a dislocated jaw, the newspaper reported. She weighed 40 pounds and had teeth that were missing or loose. The girl was transported to Plumas District Hospital.
"This has shaken my staff to the core," Plumas County Sheriff Greg Hagwood told the source. "That little girl had been subjected to the most unspeakable measure of torture for an extended period of time. This is child abuse, the likes of which we haven't experienced here.”
Two older children, 12-year-old male and female twins, were present at the East Quincy residence where Curiel and Huntsman were staying with a friend. They were placed in foster care. Huntsman is reportedly the biological mother of the twins and aunt to the 9-year-old girl. She became her legal guardian after the girl’s mother died two years ago, the source reported.
When contacted by police, family members of Huntsman told investigators two younger children appeared to be missing. Huntsman was uncooperative with police, but Curiel reportedly told authorities where the children were located. His information led Redding police to the self-storage unit Huntsman rented on Dec. 4, according to the source. It’s unclear if the children found at the storage facility are related to Huntsman. Their causes of death haven't been reported.
Curiel and Huntsman are expected to face murder charges in Shasta County, Calif. They were arraigned on felony charges of torture, child abuse and mayhem in Plumas County Superior Court on Dec. 14. Curiel was charged as an adult. They are being held on a $1 million bond, the source reported. Investigators from Plumas County, Monterey County, Calif., and Redding are working on the case.
Redding self-storage operators reached by KRCR News were shaken by the discovery of the bodies. "Horrified. I'm horrified!" Susan Bruno, facility manager at AAA Mini & RV Storage told the news station. "If it happened here, I would be horrified."
- KRCR News: Police Confirm Bodies Were Found at Enterprise Stor-All
- Plumas County News: Injured Girl, Dead Children Found After Welfare Search