Father and girlfriend accused of torturing, starving 3 children

San Bernardino law enforcement authorities were seeking information Wednesday in connection with the June arrests of two Hesperia residents accused of starving and torturing three kids.

Erik Flores, 30, the children's father, and Mariah Sugg, 22, his live-in girlfriend, were arrested on suspicion of torture and willful injury to a child, the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department said in a statement.


Forensic pediatricians from Loma Linda University Medical Center alerted authorities about three malnourished children, ages 4, 6 and 7. They were taken to the hospital after Flores was served a detention warrant.

The two youngest children were very weak and underfed, deputies said. Doctors said the 4-year-old girl was close to death and also showed signs of sexual molestation.

The 7-year-old boy wasn't malnourished because he was able to eat at school, but told investigators about the mistreatment he and his siblings allegedly suffered. Flores and Sugg were accused of using food deprivation and extreme physical workout sessions as a form of punishment.

The 4- and 6-year-old children have gained more than 10 pounds in the two months since they've been removed from their father's home in the 9500 block of Choiceana Avenue.

Flores and Suggs are being held on $500,000 bail each.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective David Clifford at the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department at (909) 387-3615.

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