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UPDATE: Wheelersburg Community Stunned over Child Endangerment Case

By: WSAZ News Staff Email
By: WSAZ News Staff Email
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UPDATE 2/14/14 @ 6:10 p.m.
WHEELERSBURG, Ohio (WSAZ) -- The small tight-knit community of Wheelersburg remains stunned by news of alleged abuse against three children.

"It was just horrific for these children," Scioto County Sheriff's Capt. David Hall said. "There are reports these children were tied to their beds for weeks at a time."

The children's mother and grandmother both were arrested and charged with child endangerment.

Juan Carlos Sanchez, 44, the children's stepfather, is charged with child endangerment and two counts of rape. He's being held on $1 million bond.

Hall said one of the little girls sent an email to her online instructor, letting them know the kids needed help and to call 911.

"About 30 percent of our caseload is teacher and counselor referrals," said Lorra Fuller, director of Scioto County Children's Services. "Ohio Revised Code says a teacher does not have the discretion to decide whether or not to report the alleged abuse. They are mandated to report, and then it's our job to screen that and investigate."

Children's Services has had more than 30 calls since November 2013.

The children in this case have been placed in foster care, awaiting the outcome of this investigation.

"We got to see smiles; there is hope," Hall said. "Hope that people love and care for them. That's why we do this job -- to protect them."



UPDATE 2/13/14 @ 2:10 p.m.
CINCINNATI (AP) - Three Ohio children who police say were tied to their beds for long periods of time, beaten and deprived of food are now relishing the seemingly mundane - going to school and eating ice cream.

Authorities removed the children from their Wheelersburg home in southern Ohio's Appalachian country last week after one of them sent a teacher at her online school an email for help.

The children's mother, stepfather and grandmother were arrested Tuesday for child endangerment. The stepfather also is charged with raping the two girls of the family, ages 9 and 11.

The adults' attorneys declined comment or didn't return messages.

Scioto County sheriff's Capt. David Hall says the children are lucky to be alive, and that they've been living with a loving foster family and enjoying normalcy.



UPDATE 2/12/14 @ 5:20 p.m.
SCIOTO COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) -- A grandmother, arrested on child endangerment charges, is speaking out from jail.

Edwina Louis, 52, her daughter Bobbi Sue Pack, 31, and Juan Sanchez, 44, were arrested in Scioto County.

The Scioto County Sheriff's Office says four children lived in the home with the three suspects in Wheelersburg.

They say the children had been tied with ropes and chains to their beds for weeks at a time, sometimes longer, and were only untied to do school work on the computer. They also said they were forced to get naked and were beaten with belts and paddles.

The children had marks and scars on their bodies matching the reported abuse, according to Sheriff Marty Donini.

"They moved in this past summer and were very quiet," neighbor Jill Bays said.

She was shocked to discover on Wednesday that so many children were actually in the house.

"I just can't believe that was going on in that house," Bays said. "I only saw two little kids. I never knew older kids were there. I thought it was just babies."

"This is just horrific," neighbor Autumn Collier said. "Why didn't I notice, why didn't someone notice."

In an interview Wednesday, Louis said, "They're accusing me of tying up my grandkids, not feeding them. They accused me of biting my grandkids. I got no teeth."

Louis said, "I hit with my hand and I ain't got much strength as it is."

The grandmother said she was being railroaded.

The children said they were very hungry and didn't get food often.

Two children also said they were sexually assaulted.

Sanchez is charged with two counts of rape.

When asked about the sexual abuse, Louis said that her grandchildren came to her and said, "He did bad things".

"I was in the process of, I asked him, he denied it, so I was in the process of trying to get a vehicle to get my grandbabies out of there," Louis said. "Same thing I told police, I was coming back with the police to take him out, but I wanted to make my grandbabies safe first."

Investigators were looking for another woman, but say they have been in contact with her and are no longer looking for her.

The children are being treated at a Cincinnati hospital.

More charges could be filed, and more people could be arrested in connection with the case.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.



ORIGINAL STORY 2/12/14 @ 10:35 a.m.
SCIOTO COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) -- Three people have been arrested after reports that children were being tied up and beaten inside their home.

The Scioto County Sheriff's Office says they received a call from a teacher at a virtual online school, who had received an email from a student, wanting her to call 911. The child told the teacher that she and siblings were being tied to beds and beaten.

A deputy and children's services went to the home on Collingswood Avenue in Wheelerburg and got an order to remove the children from the home.

Sheriff Marty Donini says when they interviewed the children, they said they had been tied with ropes and chains to their beds for weeks at a time, sometimes longer, and were only untied to do school work on the computer. They also said they were forced to get naked and were beaten with belts and paddles.

The children had marks and scars on their bodies matching the reported abuse, according to Sheriff Donini.

The children said they were very hungry and didn't get food often.

An 11 and 9-year-old told investigators they were sexually assaulted several times.

Three people were arrested in connection with the abuse, including the children's mother and grandmother.

Juan Carlos Sanchez, 44, formerly from the Virgin Islands, who had been staying at the home, was charged with three counts of child endangerment and two counts of rape. He is being held on $1 million bond.

Edwina Louis, 52, was arrested and charged with three counts of child endangerment. She is being held on $150,000 bond.

Bobbi Sue Pack, 31, was arrested and charged with three counts of child endangerment. She is also being held on $150,000.

All three are expected to be in court Wednesday.

Louis and Pack are relatives of the children.

Detectives are also looking for Leah Dillon, 24, who could be in Pike County, Ohio. They say she was at the home when children's services showed up and she took off.

The children are being treated at a Cincinnati hospital.

More charges could be filed and more people could be arrested in connection with the case.

If you have any information, call the sheriff's office at 740-351-1091.


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