A Hampton couple is accused of abusing their five children. Police said Anthony and Tammy Irvin even kept one child secluded from the rest of the family without food and water.
Family members in Florida talked with CBS Atlanta News by phone. They said the children include four girls and one boy. Their ages range from 6 years old to 14 years old. They said the parents would lock the oldest child, a girl, in the closet with no food and water.
One neighbor said the family was deeply religious, but they rarely saw the family. Another neighbor described the family as weird. None of the neighbors said they had no any idea anything was wrong, although neighbor Zoindia Kennedy recalled the first conversation she ever had with Anthony Irvin.
"Oh, he was just like, 'I beat their asses.' I was like ok," Kennedy said.
Investigators accuse the couple of hitting their five children. Family members told CBS Atlanta they saw evidence of abuse.
The children were visiting relatives in Florida when an aunt tipped off authorities and Clayton County police became involved. For the past month, the Division of Family and Children Services has had custody of the children.
The parents were arrested on Thursday.
Anthony and Tammy Irvin each are charged with five counts of contributing to the deprivation of a minor, 10 counts of cruelty to children, four counts of battery and two counts of false imprisonment.
Police said they are still investigating. They said they are looking into how long the alleged abuse may have occurred.
Family members said the abuse has occurred for years and that this is not the first time they called police.
Tuesday, April 20 2010 11:21 PM EDT2010-04-21 03:21:00 GMT
31 people are in trouble with the law after a three day prostitution sting in Richmond. Police told NBC12 they targeted specific areas where residents and business owners complained about the illegal activity.More >
While you were sleeping, the Internet never stopped… Here's what's trending today. ‘Exasperated' boy reacts to mom's pregnancy "What were you thinking? This makes no sense… This is exasperating!" AMore >
While you were sleeping, the Internet never stopped… Here's what's trending today.More >