(WMC-TV) - A father and step-mother are behind bars in Union County, accused of torturing two children.
At a bond hearing, investigators said the victims were tied up, beaten, and tased.
The investigation began after a 17-year-old runaway was found seeking refuge at a local church. She told Mississippi Department of Human Services and law enforcement that she and her sister were repeatedly abused.
"To have to think of a child going through what these children were going through is gut wrenching," said Chief Chris Robertson, New Albany Police Department.
According to authorities, the alleged victims are the father's 14 and 17-year-old daughters, who began living with him after their mother passed away a few years ago.
Investigators say Jonathan Carroll and his wife, Cindy, abused the girls after escalating arguments. In court, investigators say the parents became angry when the teens used face cream that bleached the towels.
"She was just to the point where she was wanting to do just about anything not to have to go back home," said Robertson. "It was that bad."
Both Carroll and his wife were arrested and ordered to be held without bond at a hearing on Thursday.
Neighbors were shocked to hear about the allegations against the couple, but say they did suspect something was not right all along.
"We've been next door and there's been a lot of unrest and activity that we don't condone," said Anne Neal, who lives next door.
Cindy Carroll's son also lived in the home with her, Jonathan, and the two girls. Investigators believe all of the kids were abused at some point. They are all now in protective custody.