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Police in Maryland arrested two women who they say abused three children ages 8, 9 and 10 — the suspects, Amanda R. Wright, 29, and Besline Joseph, 25, are both charged with multiple counts of child abuse.

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Investigators say that the abuse stretches into the spring of 2017 and that the children were locked away in closets and fed only bread and water. Sometimes, the women allegedly forced the victims to eat dog feces in the Mardela Springs, Maryland home. The victims were reportedly subjected to beatings, during which the women used extensions cords, belts and other objects to inflict harm, DelmarvaNow reports. The suspects also may have used a shock collar-like device on the children. The victims reportedly sustained cuts and bruises.

Police say that the suspects threatened to kill the victims if they told anybody about the abuse. Wright and Joseph are both charged with three counts of the following charges:

  • first-degree child abuse
  • second-degree child abuse
  • first-degree assault
  • reckless endangerment
  • neglect of a minor
  • stalking
  • use of a dangerous weapon with intent to injure
  • false imprisonment
  • second-degree assault

On Friday, Maryland State Police were tipped off about the abuses going on in the house and immediately began an investigation. Child services removed the children from the house as soon as the investigation began. The suspects were arrested on Wednesday morning they were taken to the Wicomico County Jail and, at the time of publication, have not appeared in a courtroom.