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Mom-of-15 found hiding behind false wall after husband's body is found on lawn

Mom-of-15 found hiding behind false wall after husband's body is found on lawn

Martha Crouch had evaded police since 2021, only to be discovered as her husband lay dying on their lawn in Colorado.

Trigger warning: the article contains graphic descriptions of alleged child and animal abuse

A woman who was convicted of child abuse has been arrested by police, after they discovered she was hiding in a false wall.

The mom-of-15 had evaded authorities after pleading guilty to attempted child abuse in the fourth degree in 2021, then violating the terms of her probation and disappearing.

Shockingly, she was only arrested last week after authorities responded to a medical emergency and found her husband’s body on their lawn.

Wanted in New Mexico, Martha Crouch had evaded police since 2021 and had fled the state after a warrant was issued for her arrest.

Two years later though, the 58-year-old would be found hiding nearly 250 miles away as she hid in a false wall of a Colorado trailer.

Martha Crouch was discovered hiding in a false wall.
Police handout

At the time, police had been responding to a medical emergency with Crouch’s husband, Timothy Crouch, suffering from a heart attack on the lawn.

Having found his body at the scene, authorities were then urged by one of Timothy's adult daughters to return to the Colorado home.

According to the unnamed woman, her siblings had suffered abuse at the trailer from Crouch – stating she was still at the Huerfano County home.

Upon returning to the property, police found two of the Crouch children – one of whom claimed their mom had died, while the other said that she’d been missing for three years.

After an extensive search of the trailer though, police found the mom-of-15 hiding in a false wall along with her 14-year-old daughter, who’d also apparently been missing.

This comes after she was hit with a string of chilling accusations in 2019.

Her husband, Timothy Crouch, died on a lawn outside their trailer.
Police Handout

She originally faced charges of felony child abuse and extreme animal cruelty, though the 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.

She 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.

Crouch fled authorities in 2021 with her husband hiding her during an investigation by New Mexico authorities.

Since then, Crouch has been arrested for the outstanding warrant, but has also been charged with more child abuse charges and obstructing police.

Her bond has been set at $50,000.

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: Police handout/ KRDO

Topics: US News, Domestic Abuse, Animal Cruelty, True crime, Crime