SALINAS, Calif. - Central Coast News has obtained shocking new details in the unfolding child abuse case out of unincorporated Salinas.
Eraca Craig and Christian Deanda were arrested last week and charged with one count each of child abuse/neglect.
The couple's children, ages 3, 5 and 8, were removed from the couple's Russell Road home and placed in protective care. Monterey County Sheriff's deputies say the oldest child, an 8-year-old girl, had to be hospitalized for several days for malnourishment and other issues. They say the children were starving and the girl had even been chained to the wall to keep her from getting food. The women are the legal guardians of the two older children; the youngest is the biological son of one of the women, though deputies have declined to say which.
According to the 22-page search warrant, the women are believed to have abused at least two of the children, although there is forensic evidence that all three were abused.
The report says it was two missed therapy appointments for the 8-year-old girl that led deputies to conduct a welfare check at the home on March 14. The next day they served a search warrant, investigators were looking for evidence linked to any possible child abuse.
The search warrant states that the girl told authorities she had been chained to a wall with a collar around her neck, and that her hair was shaved off and videotaped. At the time she was taken into Protective Services, she weighed 40 pounds and had numerous injuries and marks on her body.
The reporting deputy says she found the girl looking "haggard" and her fingertips and feet were a "purple-ish color." She said Deanda kept a journal of the abuse. Investigators did seize one journal.
The girl's biological brother named "John Doe 2" in the report, told investigators his "Moms" told him to urinate on his sister because she soiled herself.
Investigators say the two boys told them they were not allowed to talk to the girl. The youngest reportedly told investigators he was ordered to spank the girl with his belt.
The 5-year-old boy reported that he was told to urinate on his sister when she accidentally lost control of her bladder. He also reported that he'd been given food but his sister was only given oatmeal. He had several spots on his hair where hair was missing.
Among other things, the items sought by deputies in their search warrant were school records for the children, the girl's medical reports, a chain with electrical wire on the end, a camera, a laptop and a cellphone.
In Monterey County Superior Court Wednesday, prosecutors added additional charges of felony false imprisonment and misdemeanor child abuse/neglect to their complaint against the woman. Prosecutors are also seeking to increase their bail from $50,000 to $500,000. A bail hearing is scheduled for Friday to determine this matter.
(Pictured from left to right: Christian Jessica Deanda, Eraca Craig)