Police in Virginia are investigating a horrific case of alleged child abuse, in which one child was found Thursday locked inside a filthy makeshift cage and the remains of another were found buried outside the family's home.
"This is the worst [case] I have seen in my career," Lt. Scott Little of the Gloucester County sheriff's office told The Huffington Post today.
Authorities have charged Brian Gore, 29, with one count of felony child abuse and his wife, Shannon Gore, 25, with one count of felony child abuse and one count of attempted capital murder. Additional charges may be forthcoming, police said.
The investigation into the case began Thursday, when deputies from the sheriff's office went to the Gores' home in the Waterview Mobile Home Park in Hayes, a small community located about 20 miles west of Williamsburg. Authorities were following up on an investigation into several area burglaries.
"We had information that there might be some [items] at their house [and] that is what we got a search warrant for," Little said.
However, once at the residence, the scope of the investigation changed when deputies found an extremely malnourished little girl, believed to be 5 or 6 years old, inside a modified crib that had a piece of wood covering the top, imprisoning the child.
"She was in the crib nude and covered with feces," Little said, adding that the child suffered from severe starvation and appeared to have been inside the crib for a "significant period of time."
The child was transported to Riverside Walter Reed Hospital’s emergency room and then transferred to Children's Hospital of the Kings Daughters, where she is listed in guarded condition.
Doctors told investigators that if the child had not been discovered last week, that "at this time, the child would probably have been deceased," Chief Deputy Darrell Warren Jr. said.
A second child, a 1-month-old male, was also found inside the Gore residence. He was found to be in good condition. Given the circumstances of the situation, the toddler was placed into protective custody by the Gloucester Department of Social Services.
On Friday evening, investigators made another startling discovery at the Gores' home when they dug near a freestanding shed. It was there, at about 8:30 p.m., that they discovered the remains of another child buried in the ground, police said.
Authorities are not commenting on whether they received specific information that led them to the child's remains. The body was taken to the medical examiner’s office in Richmond. The age, gender and identity of the remains are not yet known.
Neighbors told local media outlets that they knew about the 1-month-old boy but were unaware of the little girl or the child who was found buried in the yard.
"I knew they had a baby, they had a new baby, little boy," neighbor Danny Blackwell told WDAM 7 News. "I thought [he] was their first child."
People close to the family say the couple's parents were also unaware of the little girl's existence, KTHV, of Little Rock, Ark., reported.
According to Little, the Gores, who are both being held without bond at Gloucester County Jail, are believed to be the parents of all three children.