CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) — A set of Charlotte parents is facing charges after investigators received an anonymous tip that six children inside their home were being chained to their beds and locked inside their rooms.
According to a search warrant released Tuesday, social workers and officers responded to a home along the 4900-block of Statesville Road in Charlotte last Monday.
When they were inside the home, investigators found a bunk bed in the hallway with “two metal linked chains on each end of the bed with small master locks attached to them,” the warrant states.
A police report issued in the case listed the victims as a 10-year-old girl, and three boys, age 8, 6 and 4.
According to the warrant, the children were then interviewed individually by the social worker while an officer stood with the other children, who were playing on their mother’s phone.
The woman was identified as 30-year-old Melissa Gonzalez-Guzman.
The children were taking photos and making videos on the phone, the warrant said. One of the children went to the officer “wanting to show the pictures and video they took.”
While the child was scrolling through the photos, the officer reportedly saw photos of four children with “linked chains around their wrist and waist,” according to the warrant.
There was reportedly a photo also showing “what appeared to be an autistic 3 year old child chained to a chair.”
The officer and social worker found bruising and marks on the wrist of a 9-year-old and on the ankle of a 6-year-old “consistent with and caused by being restrained by the linked chains,” according to the warrant.
According to the search warrant, police seized metal linked chains from the bathroom cabinet, a bedroom closet, the bunk bed in the hallway and a tree branch outside.
Gonzalez-Guzman along with 48-year-old Felipe Gonzalez-Guzman were both taken to police headquarters where they were interviewed by detectives. Both were charged with 15 counts of false imprisonment and 15 counts of child abuse with serious physical injury.
Investigators say all of the children involved in the alleged abuse were children of the couple.
Detectives are asking anyone with additional information concerning this case or the suspect to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600. To learn more about the Crime Stoppers mobile app, please visit http://charlottecrimestoppers.com/.
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