Mother accused of keeping children chained inside home

Detectives said Melissa Gonzalez-Guzman, of Charlotte, faces charges of child abuse and false imprisonment.

Police reports showed that investigators have pictures of the children chained together.

The children were ages 9, 6, 3 and 4 years old.

Police said the alleged abuse happened at a home in north Charlotte.

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According to warrants, the Department of Social Services responded to the home on July 18 after receiving a tip that six children were being chained to their beds and locked in their rooms by their mother and her boyfriend.

While responding to the home to check on the children, a social worker and an officer noticed a bunk bed in the hallway with two metal linked chains on each end of the bed, with small master locks attached to them.

They also noticed doors in the home that were closed and padlocked, according to the warrant, and found chains on a bed, in a closet and on a tree outside.

While the social worker interviewed one of the children, the officer stood with the other children while they played on their mother's phone, taking photos and making videos.

The officer said he saw photos on the phone depicting four children with linked chains around their wrists and waists. The officer said he also saw a picture of what appeared to be an autistic 3-year-old chained to a chair.

According to the warrant, both the social worker and the officer noticed bruises and marks on the wrist of the 9-year-old and on the ankle of the 6-year-old, consistent with and caused by being restrained by linked chains.

All the children in the photos were identified as children living in the home.

WSOC is working to find out if the children were injured and what kind of care they're now getting.

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