Authorities in New Jersey say a 3-year-old boy was routinely beaten and otherwise physically abused while in the custody of six suspects.
According to Fox News, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office confirmed this week that it would be pursuing charges of aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of a child.
The suspects — 23-year-old Bridget Buchan, 28-year-old Patricia Buchan, 39-year-old Homer Searcy, 43-year-old Natacha Smith, 55-year-old Mary Buchan, and 62-year-old Patricia Gamarra — were arrested following an investigation.
Reports indicate authorities responded to the Newark home this week and identified the suspects.
Police further revealed that Smith is the young victim’s mother. It was unclear from available reports what, if any, relation the other suspects are to the child.
The prosecutor’s report did not indicate what sparked the probe, but alleged that the suspects took part in “a form of corporal punishment” that included beating the child with belts and their fists as well as scalding him with water.
No details about the alleged victim’s condition were released in the public statement.
All six remained behind bars at the Essex County Correctional Facility ahead of a preliminary court appearance set for Thursday.
[Featured image: Patricia Gamarra, Homer Searcy, Mary Buchan, Natacha Smith, Bridget Buchan and Patricia Buchan, Essex County Prosecutor’s Office]