Texas man surrenders in case involving toddlers who were tied up

Reuters News
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Posted: May 11, 2016 11:42 AM

By Jim Forsyth

SAN ANTONIO (Reuters) - A man suspected of child abuse after two toddlers were found tied up in the backyard of his San Antonio home has surrendered to police, authorities said on Wednesday.

Deandre Dorch, 35, turned himself in on Tuesday night and will face two charges of injury to a child by omission, Bexar County Sheriff's office spokesman James Keith said.

He is the third person arrested over the incident described by Keith as "horrific." Dorch's wife, Porucha Phillips, was taken into custody in April when the toddlers were found.

Cheryl Reed, the mother of the two children, was tracked down in California and arrested last week. Dorch and Phillips and Reed were neighbors and acquaintances.

"We are elated that all three of these adults, who we believe should have been caring for these children but failed to, are now in our jail and will be held accountable," Keith said.

When deputies arrived at the home belonging to Dorch and Phillips in late April, they found a 2-year-old boy chained to the ground "like you would an animal," Keith said, and a 3-year-old girl, tied to a door with a dog leash.

The two children had hundreds of bruises, cuts, bone breaks, Keith said, indicating they had been abused for almost all of their short lives.

Keith said there were indications Dorch and his wife tried to extort money from the children's mother, who used to live nearby, but did not provide details.

Dorch and Phillips' six children was also found left unattended in the home. All eight children are in the custody of local child protective services.

Phillips is pregnant with her seventh child, and has been moved to a secure area of the county jail because she has been assaulted by other inmates disturbed by the case, Keith said. Neither Phillips or Reed has commented on the charges.

There were no lawyers listed for them in online arrest reports.

(Reporting by Jim Forsyth; Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)