A 3-year-old boy was "severely" beaten and abused -- including being burned with scalding water -- by six adults, in a consistent and coordinated form of punishment, New Jersey officials said.
Patricia Gamarra, 62, Mary Buchan, 55, Patricia Buchan, 28, Bridget Buchan, 23, Natacha Smith, 43, and Homer Searcy, 39, were arrested and charged with aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of the toddler, Essex County Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement Wednesday.
Smith is the 3-year-old boy’s mother, though it’s unclear if the five others have any relation to the child.
The six people were living in the home in Newark, about 9 miles from New York City. They allegedly beat the toddler with their fists and belts and poured scalding water on him “as a form of corporal punishment.”
Authorities did not reveal what information led them to investigate the house of horror.
The six people are being held at the Essex County Correctional Facility and expected to make their first court appearance on Thursday.
It’s unclear what the child’s condition was as of Wednesday.