“It looked like a normal middle-class house in a normal middle-class neighborhood,” “She was a home-maker, and he worked in real estate and home loans. If you were to walk into their home and not know what happened, there was no indication of any abuse.” Is how police described the home. And they say there was no sign of drug use in the home.
In the home were Terry Indula, 26, and Chandy Indula, 27, and their two children ages newborn and one baby just a bit over 1 year old. Also in the home were a 3 year old and a 5 year old from a previous relationship Terry Indula had with Valerie Sanchez, 27, her whereabouts are unknown.
The couple called 911 on Sunday and reported the 3 year old was not breathing.
Police say the child’s injuries were extensive and brutal. They say she also had “possible welts that blistered up or actual burn marks from some type of hot liquid,” “She has these injuries pretty much all over her body.”
She reportedly had cuts, one cut on her arm was deep. She had injuries suggestive of being hit with an extension cord or other objects. And she had some half moon marks that were suggestive of someone being grabbed or squeezed by someone with long nails. But the greatest concern was her temperature. Her body core temperature was 79 degrees. That is not a typo, it was 79 degrees. Police speculate that a person could have such a low temperature from a prolonged exposure to the outside elements, being immersed in ice water for some time, or if her heart had stopped beating a number of times.
One thing stood out. Police say “I’ve seen a lot of child abuse cases where the child is abused in (one) certain way,” such as being hit with something or cut or burned. But they say this child had several different types of injuries. And they believe she had been tortured over several months.
Reportedly the newborn and the baby were free from injury, but the 5 year old had some low level bruising similar to the injuries of the 3 year old.
Medical personnel were able to get the girl’s breathing started and she was taken to the hospital and put into intensive care on life support. Reportedly there was some improvement Monday night, but police warn she is not out of the woods.
During questioning the Indula’s told police that the child’s mother had dropped her off two weeks previously, and that she was already injured. But after further questioning they allegedly admitted to the abuse.
Both Terry Indula and Chandy Indula have been charged with felony child abuse charges. And both have pleaded not guilty. Police say if the child does not survive, the charges will be upgraded.
Police are looking for Valerie Sanchez, 27. But they emphasize she is not a suspect. They are trying to find her because she is the victim’s mother and she needs to know what is going on. They say she may not have seen the children for 2 or more years.
Apparently the child remains hospitalized. A defense attorney has petitioned the court for permission for his investigator to do a visual inspection of the child. The district attorney has said it was the doctor’s orders the child cannot have any visitors, so the court is pending the arrainment until the doctor is contacted to see if permission can be given for the investigator to visit.