Police in Fairfield, California began looking for a missing 12-year-old boy after his mother Ina Rogers, 30, reported him missing.
He was found, but when authorities came to Rogers' home, they discovered her nine other children living in deplorable conditions.
As Fox News reports, authorities found rotten food, urine, garbage, and animal and human feces scattered throughout the home.
Police removed the 10 children, who were between the ages of four months and eleven years old, on March 31 and began conducting an investigation.
Rogers was arrested on March 31 and charged with child neglect. Her husband Allen was arrested on Friday on suspicion of torture and abuse following the six week investigation.
— Laura Anthony (@LauraAnthony7) May 14, 2018
As ABC 7 reports, during the investigation, interviews with the children revealed the abuse they were enduring. Lt. Greg Hurlbut said:
“The children described incidents of intentional abuse resulting in puncture wounds, burns, bruising and injuries consistent with being shot by a pellet or airsoft gun.”
Chief Deputy District Attorney Sharon Henry told the news station that the investigation led them to believe that the children were being tortured, and the torture was carried out for “sadistic purposes.”:
“It literally breaks your heart, and you're outraged by how a parent or anyone could commit those acts.”
But Rogers, who was released on bail April 9, told ABC 7 the allegations are false and her husband never abused their kids.
“There's no broken bones, there is no major scars, nothing. My kids get bumped and bruised and scratched because they're kids but that's it.”
The mother of 10 told said:
“I strive, I thrive on being a good parent to my children. My husband has a lot of tattoos. He looks like a scary individual, and that's why people are so quick to judge him. But my husband is an amazing person. I am an amazing mother."
When giving investigators a tour of the house, she reasoned that the house was in disarray because they were frantically searching for her missing son. Asked why all of the children all slept on the floor in one room even though the home has four bedrooms, she said “because they want to.”
Rogers thinks she's being unfairly judged for having a large family. She said:
“Not only do I have 11 children and I'm 30 years old, but I also homeschool all of my children and people don't agree with that lifestyle and so I've had many people question my right to parent and I just feel like this whole situation was exploded.”
Allen is currently being held on a $5.2 million bail. The children are now in the custody of Rogers' sister and mother.