TWENTYNINE PALMS — A couple under arrest for the alleged torture and abuse of their two sons had a third child who died about 10 years ago and is believed to be buried on their property, authorities said.
On Tuesday, investigators found what they believe is the boy’s grave, and a forensics team was to arrive at the home Wednesday to continue investigating.
San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Cpl. Steve Spear said publicity about the case in the rural desert community of Wonder Valley, east of Twentynine Palms, prompted calls from area residents asking about the family’s third boy.
“My question was, ‘What third boy?”’ Spear said.
John Davis, 51, and Carrie Davis, 41, told investigators that the boy was sickly and died when he was about 6, said Spear, of the department’s Joshua Tree station.
Deputies came to the house Saturday morning after a 17-year-old boy called 911 to say he and his 12-year-old brother were chained up in their bedroom.
Shortly after that call, the boy’s aunt, Faye Potts, 46, called authorities to say the cry for help was a hoax.
But deputies found the boys dirty, malnourished, underdeveloped and with chain marks on their wrists. Dog chains were attached to the posts of their beds, authorities said.
Investigators said that in a house surrounded with signs reading “God’s Country,” “Spirit of God,” and “Jesus,” the boys were fed only bread and rice and had been allowed to speak only by reading out of the Bible. Spear said investigators are still looking into whether the family was affiliated with any church or religious group.
The parents and Potts are being held for investigation of torture, child abuse, false imprisonment and other charges.