2 children found in storage locker killed by ongoing physical abuse

NBC named the arrested suspects in the reports as Tami Joy Huntsman and Gonzalo Curiel, 17.

SALINAS, Calif. (AP) – The latest on the investigation into the deaths of two children whose bodies were found in a California storage locker (all times local):

4:25 p.m.

Investigators say two young children found dead in a California storage unit died from ongoing physical abuse.

Monterey County District Attorney Dean Flippo said the 3-year-old girl and 6-year-old boy were likely killed in Salinas.

He says the suspects – 39-year-old Tami Huntsman and her 17-year-old male companion – are now in custody and will be charged with first-degree murder.

They were arrested after police responded to reports of a 9-year-old girl being abused. The girl is recovering from serious injuries and remains hospitalized.

Police found the bodies of the two other children on Sunday stuffed into a barrel at a storage unit in Redding.

The district attorney says he plans to charge both suspects with first-degree murder and prosecute the 17-year-old as an adult.

___

2:35 p.m.

Prosecutors say they plan to file first-degree murder charges against a woman and teenager in the death of two children found in a California storage locker.

The disclosure came at a news conference Thursday in Monterey County, where authorities believe the children – ages 3 and 6 – were killed.

Prosecutors say they will decide later whether to seek the death penalty.

Police have said the children were killed in a Salinas apartment around Thanksgiving then taken 300 miles to the locker in Redding.

The Associated Press typically does not identify abuse victims; it is not naming the woman and teenager because their relationship to the children is unclear.

The investigation began on Dec. 11 when a 9-year-old girl suffering from neglect and abuse was found near a house in Plumas County, where the woman had recently moved.

The woman and teen were charged with child abuse, torture and mayhem in that incident. Their lawyers have declined comment.

___

7:30 a.m.

Authorities say two children found in a Northern California storage locker were killed more than 300 miles away in Central California.

Autopsies were performed on the bodies of the 3-year-old girl and 6-year-old boy Wednesday. Their names and the exact causes of their deaths were not released.

The Redding Record Searchlight reports (http://bit.ly/1lT28JB) Thursday that Shasta County District Attorney Stephen Carlton says evidence found during the autopsy showed “clearly” the children were killed in Monterey County.

A 39-year-old woman and her 17-year-old companion are under investigation in the deaths.

Carlton says the autopsy findings show that the children died around Thanksgiving while living in Salinas.

A spokesman for the Salinas Police Department says a news conference will be held there Thursday afternoon to discuss the case.

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