Texico, New Mexico: Two women were arrested on August 22 and a third woman was arrested on Friday, September 2 on charges of intentional child abuse.
The investigation began on July 22 when officers with the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department and New Mexico State Police showed up at the residence. Video footage obtained by KRQE shows clips of the inspection inside the home and some of the interview conducted with 37-year-old Jayme Kushman and 29-year-old Jamie Kay Sena.
The officer with New Mexico CYFD tells them, "based on the report we got and the kids did confirm everything... and we saw the chains, we saw the locks, the kids told us how it works. The kids were very forthcoming this time."
Allegations had been made against Kushman dating back to 2013 according to KOB4.
There were six children between the ages of five and 14* were in the home under the care of Kushman and Sena. The two eldest children, 14 and 11, reportedly suffered the brunt of the abuse and some of the children did not attend school.
Allegations of abuse include withholding food and chaining two of the children to their beds at night, or longer, to keep them from taking food from the kitchen. At times, children were allegedly locked into dog cages, sometimes in freezing cold weather.
Video footage was reportedly located on a cell phone which investigators stated included footage of one boy "being smothered in his own vomit," and some of the footage includes the sounds of audible screams of children in the background.
All six children were removed from the residence that day. A CYFD spokesperson confirmed that they were all now in a safe location.
Kushman and Sena were arrested on Monday, August 22. Both are facing 21 counts of intentional child abuse, one count of conspiracy to commit child abuse, and one count of obstructing an investigation of child abuse. Both remain in custody without bond.
The third woman arrested, 41-year-old Lora Melancon was a former girlfriend of Kushman. She has been charged with four counts of intentional child abuse and one count of conspiracy to commit child abuse. She was released on bond on Wednesday, September 7. Her court date does not appear in the jail records.
Neighbors spoke with KOAT saying that seeing the police at the residence was a normal occurrence.
"Every two weeks they would come and be there for like a little bit, a little while," the unnamed neighbor stated.
Some of the neighbors suspected that perhaps the women were tipped off concerning visits from CYFD allowing them time to prepare.
"We would see them do bad stuff to them but didn't know what was actually going on inside their house," an unnamed neighbor said. "We thought they were fine, because the government and the police would be here and they wouldn't do anything so, we thought they were OK, but I guess they were not."
Another neighbor that lives down the block, Eric Martinez stated, "Looks can be deceiving, you know? If we would've known, we would have went down there or called the police or something, because that's messed up. You can tell there was something, though, It looked like a little compound, but nobody could just go in, and the kids were allowed to walk at night and stuff."