The pair suspected in the deaths of two small children found in a Northern California storage locker earlier this month have been charged with murder, child abuse, torture, and conspiracy with special circumstances. As the SF Chronicle reports, 39-year-old Tami Joy Huntsman and her 17-year-old boyfriend Gonzalo Curiel will face trial in Monterey County, where it is believed the two children were killed.
Huntsman and Curiel were arrested December 10 in connection with the apparent double-homicide in which three-year-old Delylah Tara and six-year-old Shaun Tara were found dead in a storage unit in Redding, California. Investigators were led to the storage unit after first finding a nine-year-old girl, believed to be the older sibling of the two smaller children, locked in an SUV in Quincy, California suffering from severe abuse and neglect. The children are all believed to be Huntsman's nieces and nephew.
In a bizarre twist that came out last week as the story broke, Huntsman is also the sister of the man charged with singlehandedly starting the King Fire in El Dorado County in 2014, which scorched over 120 square miles.
We now also learn that Family Services in Monterey County had been called multiple times in the last year to Huntsman's apartment in Salinas to investigate reports of child neglect, however Monterey County social services chief Elliot Robinson says that at no time did the children appear to be enough at risk that they needed to be removed from the home. The case, however, is now under investigation.
Via Facebook, Huntsman appears to have a family member named Elizabeth Tara, whose profile shows two small children who appear younger than the deceased are described. This photo from a year ago shows a boy of about three and an infant sister.
As the Salinas Monterey Herald reports, the three children, including the two deceased and their older sister, came to live with Huntsman at the request of their father after their mother was killed in a car accident in December 2013.
Huntsman apparently has four other older children of her own, and a previous report said that her 12-year-old twins had earlier been removed from her home by Child Protective Services. She apparently filed a restraining order against her ex-husband, the father of her older children, in January, and neighbors say that is when she took up with the 17-year-old keep in mind she also has a 15-year-old son. The younger children subsequently stopped being seen outside very much. The six- and nine-year-olds were enrolled in home schooling since August, and therefore were not reported missing by teachers.
The two younger children are believed to have been killed on or around November 27, at which point Huntsman and Gonzalo headed north.