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Bexar deputies find children chained in backyard, tied with dog leash

8 children rescued from home in Northeast Bexar County

SAN ANTONIO – Bexar County sheriff's deputies on Thursday night rescued eight children from a home in the northeast part of the county, KSAT reports.

Two toddlers were found around 11:45 p.m. in the backyard of a home in the 8100 block of Chipping. One of them was chained to the ground and another was tied to a door with a dog leash, the Sheriff's Office said.

Inside the home, deputies found six more unattended children, ranging in age from 10 months to 13 years old.

The children were found after a woman called 911 and told dispatchers she suspected children were being abused at the home. She told authorities she had heard crying coming from the backyard for at least a couple of hours.

"Our deputies arrive to the house, they knock on the front door (and) no one answers. They go to the backyard, they get a ladder to look over the fence and that's where they see the two toddlers," Sheriff's Office spokesman James Keith said. "The little boy was chained to the ground. The little girl was tied up with a dog leash to a door. It was obvious they had both been there a while. There (were) obvious signs of abuse."

The toddlers found in the backyard were taken to Christus Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital, where they are being treated for a variety of issues, the Sheriff's Office said. All of the children found at the home are in the care of Child Protective Services.

"That's where we find our comfort, is knowing that these kids are out of harm's way," Keith said.

The parents of the six children found inside returned to the house Friday morning and were taken in for questioning. The mother, Porucha Phillips, 34, has been arrested and charged with injury to a child by omission with serious bodily harm and injury to a child by omission with bodily injury. Investigators believe she was responsible for the care of the two children found tied up outside. Keith said they anticipate more charges to be filed.

Investigators are working to find the parents of the toddlers found outside.

"To call this horrific is an understatement. It's disgusting. It's sad. It's unbelievable," Keith said. "And we want the public to know that we will use every ounce of our energy to make sure the people who did this are held accountable and that these children are never hurt like this again."

Keith said the Sheriff's Office wants to emphasize the importance of people calling authorities when they suspect something might be wrong or that children are being abused.

"We are grateful that this person was brave enough to call us and that our deputies were able to respond when they did. I don't even want to think about how this could have happened, how this could have played out, had our deputies not gotten there when they did," Keith said.

Check back with KSAT.com and watch KSAT 12 News throughout the day for more on this story.