Woman accused of torturing adoptive children with cords, hammer
A Palmdale woman faces torture charges after her adoptive children told investigators they ran away from home because she deprived them food, locked them in separate rooms, and tied their hands and beat them with electrical cords and a hammer, authorities said.
Ingrid Brewer, 50, reported her 8-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter missing on Jan. 15, prompting a search by deputies at the Los Angeles County sheriff's Palmdale Station, the sheriff's department said. The children were eventually found hiding under a blanket near a parked car near their home, without winter clothes in 20-degree weather.
"The children told deputies that they had run away from home because they were tired of being tied up and beaten by the suspect," a sheriff's statement said.
The children accused Brewer of locking them in separate bedrooms when she went to work each day and said they had to use waste baskets in the rooms when they needed to go to the bathroom, the statement said. They also told investigators Brewer withheld food and would "zip-tie their hands behind their backs and beat them as punishment" using items like electrical cords and a hammer.
Both children had injuries consistent with the alleged abuse, the statement said, including marks on their wrists indicating they had been held with a "zip-tie type restraint."
Authorities told KTLA the children were home-schooled so there were no school officials to report the alleged crimes.
"It's upsetting," one neighbor, who asked not be identified, told the television station. "Very upsetting."
Brewer, who was arrested Jan. 16, faces felony courts of torture, assault with a deadly weapon, battery and cruelty to a child, sheriff's Sgt. Brian Hudson told the Antelope Valley Times. She pleaded not guilty to the charges on Jan. 18, the newspaper reported, but remains jailed on $2 million bail.
“Even our most veteran child abuse detectives were appalled at what we came across in this incident,” Hudson told the newspaper. “These two kids are heroes because they showed a heck of a lot of courage to take it upon themselves to get out of a bad situation on their own.”
— Kate Mather