SAN ANTONIO (AP) — A third person wanted in a San Antonio child abuse case in which one toddler was chained to the ground and another tied to a door with a dog leash has surrendered to authorities, Bexar County Sheriff's authorities said Wednesday.
Deandre Dorch, 36, turned himself in at the county jail late Tuesday and was charged with two counts of serious bodily injury to a child by omission, sheriff's spokesman James Keith said.
Keith said Dorch is the father of several of the eight children found alone at the home about two weeks ago. Six were inside.
Deputies have said Dorch and his wife, Porucha Phillips, 34, the mother of the six children inside the house, were supposed to be caring for the two left in the yard. Phillips, who is pregnant, and the toddlers' mother, Cheryl Reed, 30, have also been charged in the case and remain jailed. Reed was arrested last week at a San Antonio motel.
Keith said Reed's son and daughter — the two children in the yard — had been in the custody of Dorch and Phillips since February. A preliminary investigation shows Dorch may have threatened Reed after she left the state and that Dorch and Phillips wanted money from her.
It's still not clear who restrained the children in the yard, Keith said.
"Dorch admits he failed to get care for the two children after seeing Reed whip both children with a switch from a tree on multiple occasions between November 2015 and February 2016," Keith said Wednesday. "He told investigators it wasn't his place to report child abuse because he's not a 'snitch' and he's not 'God.'"
Doctors have told investigators the two children in the yard had "hundreds of injuries and scars that ranged from fresh injuries to old injuries ... that could have taken place over months or years," according to Keith. The girl also suffered hypothermia.
The two were taken to a hospital after they were discovered by deputies April 29 responding to a call about a child's prolonged crying.
The children, who have been released, initially were believed to be 2 and 3 years old but authorities say they may be a year older. The six inside the house were from 10 months to 10 years old.
All eight children are now under the care of child welfare officials.
Keith said previously Reed at some point left her children with Dorch and Phillips to travel to California where to address a child-protective matter in that state. It appears all three adults moved with their children to San Antonio from California in November, he said.