Martha Crouch

  

A New Mexico woman is accused of running a house of horrors where she tortured and beat some of her 15 children and forced them to watch as she boiled their puppies alive, authorities said Tuesday.

One of Martha Crouch’s seven daughters told investigators that after one of the family’s dogs gave birth, the mother “took the puppies and put them into a giant pot and boiled them, making all the kids watch,” according to court documents.

The 17-year-old girl said the horrific incident happened on the same day that her dog Pip was shot and killed by her mom.

San Juan County sheriff’s office investigators heard the stomach-churning allegations and others of abuse and neglect when they opened a probe following the arrest of one of Crouch’s adult children on assault with a deadly weapon.

Since then, the New Mexico Children, Youth and Family Department has received hundreds of pages of reports with complaints about Crouch and her husband Timothy from social services agencies in multiple states including Alaska, Kansas, Missouri and Montana.

“It’s an ongoing investigation that is going to take us some time,” San Juan County Sheriff’s Office Spokesperson Jayme Harcrow told the Farmington Daily Times.

Investigators found allegations that some of the kids were kept out of school, weren’t fed enough and that the family would move if police or social workers began to sniff around.

The teenage daughter said that last month, her mom beat her with a plastic cooking spatula after she said she was fed up that she and her siblings weren’t receiving an education and threatened to call social services.

She said the abuse got so bad that two of her older siblings took her from New Mexico to Arizona to keep her safe.

Another daughter, whose age wasn’t disclosed, said she got pregnant at 14 and her mom beat her until she had a miscarriage.

Yet another daughter said she was kept in a “fat chain” for three years when the family lived in Alaska because her mom thought she was overweight.

One of the eights sons said he was “beaten, shot stabbed and run over by his parents.” He also said he still had “BBs” inside his arm from when his mom shot him with a shotgun.

Crouch, 53, was arrested Monday and charged with child abuse and extreme cruelty to animals. Her husband, Timothy Crouch, 57, is charged with allegedly obstructing an investigation by the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department.

They are due in court Wednesday and haven’t yet been assigned public defenders.