ELKO – A Spring Creek couple with seven adopted children and 10 dogs kept their pantry locked up, their bathroom sink water supply turned off, and alarms on their interior doors, according to a statement of probable cause for their arrest on child abuse charges.
Jonathan M. Rockwood, 62, and Marlaina R. Rockwood, 48, were booked into Elko County Jail last week.
Child abuse charges have not been filed, but court documents describe conditions in their home earlier this month when Marlaina was arrested for allegedly striking a teenage girl.
Elko County Sheriff’s deputies were called to the home July 8 on a report of a runaway child. The girl was located and told police that her adopted mother had struck her in the face several times. One of the siblings said Jonathan pinned the teen against the refrigerator while she was being struck.
Marlaina was arrested July 9 on a domestic violence charge. A subsequent investigation by the Nevada Division of Child and Family Services observed dog leashes tied to bedroom door handles in order to keep children in their rooms.
The teen told a detective that she and her siblings were restricted in their food and water intake, including when they asked to use the restroom. The girl “has personally observed her siblings drink water from the toilet because they are thirsty,” said the detective’s report.
The bathroom sink cabinet was found to be locked with the water valves turned off, according to the detective.
The children told authorities they were hit and slapped by Marlaina on numerous occasions, and spanked with Jonathan’s belt, which has a studded buckle.
Bail on the Rockwoods was listed at $100,000 each.
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