A woman on the run from law enforcement for years – who apparently convinced some of her family she had long been dead – was allegedly found hiding in a false wall in a Colorado home earlier this week.
In 2019, Martha Crouch, 58, was accused of felony child abuse and extreme cruelty to animals for allegedly boiling four puppies alive and forcing some of her 15 children to watch their slow deaths – after telling one child she would cook something special for their birthday. In another instance, she allegedly shot a child’s dog as punishment. And, in yet other instances, she allegedly beat one of her daughters with a spatula and beat another so badly that she miscarried.
Other allegations of child abuse against Crouch included claims that she chained one of her children to their bed and used a chain on one of her daughters to shame her for her weight.
On Dec. 8, 2021, Crouch took a plea deal on a lone count of attempted child abuse in the fourth degree, by way of a virtual hearing held in San Juan County, New Mexico, according to the Farmington Daily Times. Most of the charges against her were dropped, and she was placed on probation. Two days later, however, Crouch allegedly violated the terms of her probation, and a warrant was issued for her arrest.
Huerfano County Sheriff’s Office deputies say she’s been found out.
The discovery came after Timothy Crouch, 62, died in front of his residence on East Grand Street in Walsenburg – a small town roughly an hour-and-a-half due south of Colorado Springs – after complaining of labored breathing on Aug. 17, according to local ABC affiliate KRDO.
One of the adult Crouch children learned about the death of her father and reportedly asked deputies to return to the residence. She allegedly told law enforcement her siblings were being abused there, and children with special needs had been under her father’s care.
After that curious reaction to the man’s death, investigators learned that Crouch’s wife had been convicted of child abuse but was still wanted on a probation violation warrant by New Mexico authorities.
Later that same afternoon, Huerfano County sheriff’s deputies returned to the Crouch residence with a warrant.
Before entering the premises, however, a different member of the Crouch family said they had been told that their mother died several years ago. The Crouch child also reportedly told law enforcement that one of their siblings had gone missing around three years ago.
Law enforcement also reportedly received a tip from a neighbor and found a false wall in the kitchen. There, they allegedly found missing Martha Crouch hiding along with her 14-year-old daughter – the same child who had purportedly gone missing three years back.
Martha Crouch was arrested and now faces additional charges of child abuse and obstructing law enforcement.
She is detained in the Huerfano County Jail on $5,000 cash bond. No court date has been set in her case.
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