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Police discover teenager not seen in three years after being tipped off over ‘false walls’

Police discover teenager not seen in three years after being tipped off over ‘false walls’

Mom-of-15 Martha Crouch - who was hiding behind a false wall - was found and arrested

Content warning: this article contains graphic descriptions of alleged child and animal abuse

Martha Crouch - who went on the run after pleading guilty to child and animal abuse charges in 2021 - was found hiding in a false wall along with a 14-year-old child.

As the mother-of-15 pleaded guilty two years ago, a New Mexico warrant was issued for her arrest after she violated the terms of her probation and disappeared.

After San Juan County Sheriff's Office received a 'tip off', the 58-year-old was found hiding nearly 250 miles away in a false wall of a Colorado trailer.

Watch below:

It all started when police responded to a medical emergency regarding Crouch’s husband, Timothy Crouch, 62, who suffered a heart attack at a Huerfano County home on August 17.

However, authorities returned to the Colorado home to take another look after obtaining a search warrant.

There, they were met with one of the couple's adult children, who claimed she had been told her mom had died and that one of her siblings hadn't been seen in three years.

Martha Crouch was discovered hiding in a false wall.
San Juan County Sheriff's Office

But after an extensive search of the trailer, police found the mom-of-15 hiding in a false wall along with her 14-year-old daughter.

Crouch was arrested for the outstanding warrant and her bond has been set at $50,000.

This comes after a previous string of horrific accusations.

Crouch faced charges of felony child abuse and extreme animal cruelty in 2019.

Although, majority of the charges were dropped when she struck a plea deal in 2021.

The New Mexico mom was accused of beating her children with kitchen tools, with one of her daughters allegedly miscarrying as a result.

She allegedly chained one child to a bed post to shame her into losing weight.

Her husband, Timothy Crouch, died on a lawn outside their trailer.
San Juan County Sheriff's Office

Crouch was also accused of fatally shooting one of her kids’ dogs as punishment, while also forcing them to watch as she boiled four puppies alive in the kitchen.

Prosecutors said there was no physical evidence to support the animal abuse charges, which relied on the testimony of one person.

If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence regarding the welfare of a child, contact the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000, 10am–8pm Monday to Friday. If you are a child seeking advice and support, call Childline for free on 0800 1111

Featured Image Credit: San Juan County Sheriff's Office

Topics: US News, Crime, True crime