Las Vegas Metro police describe the alleged abuse of six children, two found locked in a dog kennel and one who doctors said was on the brink of death, as the worst case they have ever seen.
Travis Doss, 31, and Amanda Stamper, 33, share a home together and were arrested by police over the weekend. The couple cared for seven children between the ages of 2 and 11, according to KTLA sister station KLAS.
That morning, police were called to a convenience store for a woman, later identified as Stamper, who was hiding from her husband, later identified as Doss, because “he threatened to kill her,” court documents allege.
“Amanda admitted to that Travis is her pimp and he makes her prostitute for money,” documents state. Officers then responded to their apartment where Amanda warned officers that “there were children locked in a dog kennel,” police said.
Responding officers found two children padlocked in a kennel. The children have dates of birth, which put them at ages 9 and 11. One of the children was unable to walk out of the kennel as he had “two black eyes that were swollen shut, multiple marks and bruises all over his body, and he was emaciated,” police said.
During a court hearing Monday, prosecutors alleged that Doss specifically targeted the 11-year-old.
The child told police he was in the kennel because he had been “stealing food at night,” court documents state. Police said the child’s injuries were so severe he likely would have died had they not taken him to the hospital.
A responding doctor told police “he has not seen a child this severely beaten since his military tour in Afghanistan where he observed children who had been dipped in hot oil,” documents state.
Doss is the father of six of the children, prosecutors said. Stamper has a biological child, a 2-year-old who lived in the home and was not abused. Stamper removed her child from the home when she fled to get help, prosecutors said. Stamper’s public defender said she is also five months pregnant.
Stamper told investigators Doss is “violent towards all the children” except the 2-year-old, police said. Stamper said he hits the children with “belts, extension cords, skillets, his hands and feet,” according to court documents, adding that the children are all covered with “marks from their neck down.”
Police later searched the apartment, finding two dog kennels, belts, cords, a dog bowl and what they described as a wok.
“The skillet has dents in it from the children’s heads,” police said.
On Saturday, Doss reportedly told Stamper he believed the older child in the kennel was deceased, documents said, because he had “kicked him in the head too hard.” Stamper reportedly told police she believed the child “looked dead for the last five days.”
Later that morning, Doss threatened to kill Stamper, which led to her escape, police said.
In an interview with police, Doss reportedly said he knew he “beat [the child] pretty bad” but he had “no choice,” documents state. Doss said he never witnessed Stamper hit the children.
KLAS reporters were the only media present for the couple’s initial court appearance Monday.
“Each and every child has scars, loop marks, belt marks, permanent marks of their physical abuse that this defendant witnessed over a period of at least one year and she did absolutely nothing,” prosecutors said in court about Stamper.
“If she had done anything, she would have been subjected to serious, serious abuse,” Stamper’s public defender countered.
Doss and Stamper each face six counts of child abuse or neglect resulting in substantial bodily harm. Doss faces additional charges of sex trafficking and attempted murder.
Doss’s bail has been set at $250,000 and Stamper’s was set at $120,000 during their initial appearances Monday. The couple appeared in court again on Wednesday.