PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A couple was indicted on multiple criminal mistreatment charges on Wednesday after authorities discovered they had often chained up a child in their home for more than 12 hours at a time, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office announced.
Officials say that detectives with the WCSO Violent Crimes Unit were called to investigate suspected child abuse at a home in unincorporated Tigard on Wednesday, April 26. Detectives say they learned that a child was not only being chained up in the house but also was strangled, hit and kicked. The child was also verbally abused with derogatory slurs, according to WCSO.
The abuse went on for almost a year-and-a-half as an alleged result of the child taking food and drinks from the kitchen, officials said.
After interviewing multiple witnesses and securing a search warrant of the home, detectives found evidence that corroborated the abuse allegations, which led to the arrest of Ana Miranda, 67, and her husband, Charles “Randy” Ward, 74.
Detectives determined through follow-up interviews that Miranda had assaulted multiple other children in the home over many years. The victims were known to both Miranda and Ward, according to WCSO.
A Washington County jury indicted Ward on four counts of first-degree criminal mistreatment. Miranda was indicted on eight counts of first-degree criminal mistreatment, as well as strangulation, second-degree assault and unlawful use of a weapon.
WCSO says the charges involve crimes against two victims. One of the victims is now an adult. Court documents suggest between 2017 to 2020, that person was abused with metal pliers.
“We believe there are possibly other victims,” said Sgt. Danny DiPietro with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. “We’re continuing to communicate with the individuals in the home to try to figure out what happened.”
Authorities say Miranda and Ward lived with nine children and two young adults.
Detectives are continuing to investigate. Authorities are asking anyone who may have been a victim or witnessed anything to come forward and contact WCSO at 503-846-2700.
“If you have anything that may have, you thought to yourself, that doesn’t seem right or something’s going on here and it just made you question something, we want to hear from you,” DiPietro said. “The crimes the individuals have been arrested for right now occurred over the last year so we’re trying to figure out what else could have happened in that home and if anyone else was hurt, abused, had any similar circumstances happen.”
Following the arrests, the Sheriff’s Office says everyone involved in the case and home is now safe and the children are with responsible adults.
“This is horrific. What they’ve had to go through, any more trauma. We’ll do everything that we can to protect them,” DiPietro said.