'Horrendous' mother-of-15 who boiled puppies alive, forcing her children to watch may be released on bond
Martha Crouch has been charged with child abuse and extreme cruelty to animals on accusations that she continually beat her 15 children, shot her teenage daughter's dog to punish her.
A couple from New Mexico arrested in a child and animal abuse case, can be soon released on bond, according to a magistrate judge. The pair have allegations of child beatings and torturing pets made against them.
Reports state that the accused, Martha and Timothy Crouch, made a court appearance on Wednesday, two days after their arrest in Aztec, New Mexico. Martha Crouch has been charged with child abuse and extreme cruelty to animals on accusations that she continually beat her 15 children, shot her teenage daughter's dog to punish her, and boiled puppies while her children watched the horrific incident.
Martha' bond was set at $50,000, while her husband was released on a $1,000 unsecured bond. Her husband, Timothy, has been charged with obstructing the authorities’ child abuse investigation.
The case has been described as "horrendous" by a prosecutor citing the nature of allegations of abuse both against the children and animals. The chief deputy district attorney in San Juan County, Dustin O'Brien, said: "This one is over the top in both aspects," according to 7 News.
The couple is reportedly not allowed any contact with the witnesses or victims as a condition of their release. A Children, Youth and Families Department spokesperson said that the children in the family are currently in protective custody.
The couple is said to have had multiple run-ins with the law in Missouri, Alaska, Kansas, and Montana in the weeks leading up to the arrests, according to court records. These also include a visit from a CYFD investigator and the arrest of one of the couple's adult children on a charge of assault.
According to one of the children interviewed by police, the visit from child welfare authorities came in response to a report that four of the couple's 15 children were victims of educational neglect.
The deputies initially came in contact with the family while they were probing a confrontation among the couple's sons. Reports state that their 31-year-old son, also named Thomas Crouch, was accused of pointing a gun at three of his brothers saying he would shoot them. According to one of the three brothers, the fight started because he was allergic to beef, an affidavit for an arrest warrant stated.
The probe eventually unraveled the ongoing abuse in the house when authorities talked to their teen daughter, who later fled after the discussion. She was later located in Arizona, where she told the police that her mother beat her and told them about the atrocities committed on animals in the house, including one instance when her mother fed poison to a kitten.