California couple charged with murder in death of 2 children

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Couple Charged In Deaths of 2 Children Found In Storage Unit

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Prosecutors on Monday charged a couple with first-degree murder in the death of two young children who suffered severe abuse, torture and neglect before their bodies were found in a plastic bin at a rented California storage facility.

SEE MORE: 2 children found dead in Northern California storage unit

Tami Joy Huntsman and her 17-year-old companion were charged after the bodies of the 3-year-old girl and 6-year-old boy were found in the storage unit in Redding on Dec. 13, Monterey County District Attorney Dean Flippo said.

Photos from the horrific case:

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Bodies found in storage unit, California
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California couple charged with murder in death of 2 children
In this photo released by the Monterey County Weekly, Christmas stockings and balloons hang on a fence at the house Thursay, Dec. 17, 2015, in Salinas, Calif., where two small children were believed to have been killed. Prosecutors said Thursday 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. Police have said the children were killed in a Salinas apartment around Thanksgiving then taken 300 miles to the locker in Redding. (Nic Coury/Monterey County Weekly via AP) 

In this photo provided by the Monterey County Weekly, Monterey County District Attorney Dean Flippo, left, answers questions from the media during a news conference, Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015, at City Hall in Salinas, Calif. At right is Salinas police chief Kelly McMillin. Prosecutors said Thursday 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. Police have said the children were killed in a Salinas apartment around Thanksgiving then taken 300 miles to the locker in Redding. (Nic Coury/Monterey County Weekly via AP)

 

In this photo provided by the Monterey County Weekly, Monterey County District Attorney Dean Flippo answers questions during a news conference, Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015, at City Hall in Salinas, Calif. Prosecutors said Thursday 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. Police have said the children were killed in a Salinas apartment around Thanksgiving then taken 300 miles to the locker in Redding. (Nic Coury/Monterey County Weekly via AP)

In this photo released by the Monterey County Weekly, Christmas stockings and balloons hang on a fence at the house Thursay, Dec. 17, 2015, in Salinas, Calif., where two small children were believed to have been killed. Prosecutors said Thursday 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. Police have said the children were killed in a Salinas apartment around Thanksgiving then taken 300 miles to the locker in Redding. (Nic Coury/Monterey County Weekly via AP) 

In this photo released by the Monterey County Weekly, Salinas Police Chief Kelly McMillin, right, addresses the media next to Monterey County District Attorney Dean Flippo, left, during a news conference, Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015, at City Hall in Salinas, Calif. Prosecutors said Thursday 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. Police have said the children were killed in a Salinas apartment around Thanksgiving then taken 300 miles to the locker in Redding. (Nic Coury/Monterey County Weekly via AP) 

A commercial storage unit facility is shown Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015, where two children were found dead in Redding, Calif. Autopsies were planned for the 3-year-old girl and 6-year-old boy, whose names were not released. No charges have been filed in their deaths. The investigation began with a call about a possible child abuse case in the small town of Quincy, about 220 miles northeast of San Francisco. (Andreas Fuhrmann/Record Searchlight via AP)
A commercial storage unit facility is shown Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015, where two children were found dead in Redding, Calif. Autopsies were planned for the 3-year-old girl and 6-year-old boy, whose names were not released. No charges have been filed in their deaths. The investigation began with a call about a possible child abuse case in the small town of Quincy, about 220 miles northeast of San Francisco. (Andreas Fuhrmann/Record Searchlight via AP)
A commercial storage unit facility is shown Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015, where two children were found dead in Redding, Calif. Autopsies were planned for the 3-year-old girl and 6-year-old boy, whose names were not released. No charges have been filed in their deaths. The investigation began with a call about a possible child abuse case in the small town of Quincy, about 220 miles northeast of San Francisco. (Andreas Fuhrmann/Record Searchlight via AP)
In this Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015 photo released by the Monterey County Weekly, Salinas Police Crime Scene Investigation technicians bag up evidence at a house in Salinas, Calif., recently lived in by a woman and teenage boy arrested on suspicion of felony child abuse, torture and mayhem. Homicides detectives were investigating Tuesday after authorities found two children dead inside a commercial storage unit in Quincy, Calif., over 300 miles north of Salinas. (Nic Coury/Monterey County Weekly via AP)
In this Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015 photo released by the Monterey County Weekly, Salinas Police Crime Scene Investigation technicians bag up evidence at a house in Salinas, Calif., recently lived in by a woman and teenage boy arrested on suspicion of felony child abuse, torture and mayhem. Homicides detectives were investigating Tuesday after authorities found two children dead inside a commercial storage unit in Quincy, Calif., over 300 miles north of Salinas. (Nic Coury/Monterey County Weekly via AP)
In this Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015 photo released by the Monterey County Weekly, crime scene tape wraps around a house in Salinas, Calif., recently lived in by a woman and teenage boy arrested on suspicion of felony child abuse, torture and mayhem. Homicides detectives were investigating Tuesday after authorities found two children dead inside a commercial storage unit in Quincy, Calif., over 300 miles north of Salinas. (Nic Coury/Monterey County Weekly via AP) 
In this Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015 photo released by the Monterey County Weekly, crime scene tape wraps around a house in Salinas, Calif., recently lived in by a woman and teenage boy arrested on suspicion of felony child abuse, torture and mayhem. Homicides detectives were investigating Tuesday after authorities found two children dead inside a commercial storage unit in Quincy, Calif., over 300 miles north of Salinas. (Nic Coury/Monterey County Weekly via AP) 
In this photo taken, Monday, Dec. 14, 2015, and released by the Monterey County Weekly, members of the Salinas Police Crime Scene Investigation unit walk into a house in Salinas, Calif., recently lived in by a woman and teenage boy arrested on suspicion of felony child abuse, torture and mayhem. Homicides detectives were investigating Tuesday after authorities found two children dead inside a commercial storage unit in Quincy, Calif., over 300 miles north of Salinas. (Nic Coury/Monterey County Weekly via AP) 
In this photo taken, Monday, Dec. 14, 2015, and released by the Monterey County Weekly, members of the Salinas Police Crime Scene Investigation unit work outside a house in Salinas, Calif., recently lived in by a woman and teenage boy arrested on suspicion of felony child abuse, torture and mayhem. Homicides detectives were investigating Tuesday after authorities found two children dead inside a commercial storage unit in Quincy, Calif., over 300 miles north of Salinas. (Nic Coury/Monterey County Weekly via AP)
In this photo taken, Monday, Dec. 14, 2015, and released by the Monterey County Weekly, members of the Salinas Police Crime Scene Investigation unit work outside a house in Salinas, Calif., recently lived in by a woman and teenage boy arrested on suspicion of felony child abuse, torture and mayhem. Homicides detectives were investigating Tuesday after authorities found two children dead inside a commercial storage unit in Quincy, Calif., over 300 miles north of Salinas. (Nic Coury/Monterey County Weekly via AP)
In this photo taken, Monday, Dec. 14, 2015, and released by the Monterey County Weekly, members of the Salinas Police Crime Scene Investigation unit work outside a house in Salinas, Calif., recently lived in by a woman and teenage boy arrested on suspicion of felony child abuse, torture and mayhem. Homicides detectives were investigating Tuesday after authorities found two children dead inside a commercial storage unit in Quincy, Calif., over 300 miles north of Salinas. (Nic Coury/Monterey County Weekly via AP)
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The suspects were arrested Dec. 11 and initially charged with torture and abuse of a 9-year-old girl who was found with broken bones huddled in the backseat of an SUV about 300 miles north of Salinas, where the suspects had lived until recently.

The girl remains hospitalized.

Investigators believe the younger children died on Nov. 27 while in the care of the 39-year-old Huntsman in the Salinas apartment. Her relationship to the children remained unclear.

Prosecutors also charged the couple with three counts each of torture involving the deprivation of food, shelter and clothing for at least year.

Both suspects remained jailed. They appeared in court last week but did not speak or enter pleas.

Authorities were still working on assigning them court-appointed lawyers.

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