Three children were removed from their home this week, and their parents were arrested. The 37-year old mother was jailed Wednesday on three counts of child abuse.

The woman’s last name is redacted on Maricopa Police charging documents to protect the identities of the children. She is called Veronica on the documents, but police list her aliases with the surname of Lollis and Shaw.

Her husband, named Corey in the documents, was also arrested for child abuse but he was reported to have been hospitalized for kidney stones at the time of her arrest and no charging documents are yet located in his case.

During an interview with Arizona Department of Child Safety (DCS), one of the children said, “My family tortures us … my mom slaps us in the face almost every day. When my dad wants us to shut up, he ties a rubber band around our head and then tapes our mouths shut. They’re always hitting us, and my mom kicks us.”

The child told investigators her parents smoked cigarettes and “something else” that she described as white. When asked by DCS investigators about the father, she said, “I don’t like him. He is so mean to us. He is always hitting us and tells us to shut up. He ignores us and doesn’t want us to talk.”

The girl also told investigators when she is grounded, she is not allowed food or water and she hides a water bottle in her backpack. She pleaded with investigators not to tell her parents what she said because she doesn’t want the water bottle taken away, according to police documents.

“They don’t feed us, and we get super starving,” one of the children told investigators.

According to the report, DCS also informed Maricopa Police that the mother is currently pregnant and neither of the parents failed to consent to drug testing.

The probable cause statement states MPD launched a criminal investigation based on the findings of DCS. Police confirmed the children’s mouths were rubber banded and duct taped to prevent them from talking.

“It really hurts when you take it off,” one of the children told police, according to official documents. “It hurt my cheek and lips. He tapes our mouth and our hair gets in it.”

Other allegations like spankings with paddles and belts and the older children being forced to take care of the younger children while the parents were out all night “doing bad stuff,” according to the probable cause statement.

The children also told police their mother attempted to kill herself by leaving the car running in a closed garage and that she had attempted to set a fire in their house.

The probable cause statement states the mother and father were placed under arrest, and the father complained of kidney stones and was transferred to a hospital in Casa Grande. The mother is currently being held in the Pinal County Jail with a $50,000 bond. It is undetermined where the father is currently located.

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