LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Disturbing body camera video the 8 News Now Investigators obtained shows Las Vegas Metro police rescuing six children, including two locked in a cage.
In court documents, police and doctors describe the alleged abuse of the children, one whom they described as on the brink of death, as the worst case they have ever seen.
Travis Doss, 31, and Amanda Stamper, 33, shared a one-bedroom, one-bathroom extended-stay apartment with seven children near Flamingo Road and Valley View Boulevard, documents said. Police arrested the couple, who cared for all the children between the ages of 2 and 11, on Sunday, June 11, the 8 News Now Investigators first reported.
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,” documents said. Stamper then alerted police about what they would find in the apartment, police said.
Responding officers found two children – ages 9 and 11 — padlocked in a dog cage, they said. One of the children kept in the cage had “two black eyes that were swollen shut, multiple marks and bruises all over his body, and he was emaciated,” police said.
A Clark County grand jury indicted Doss earlier this month on 40 charges, including several counts of child abuse, records showed. The panel indicted Stamper on seven child abuse charges.
Doss is the father of all seven children, prosecutors said. Stamper is the stepmother to six children and has one biological child, a 2-year-old, with Doss, prosecutors said. Stamper is expecting another child, prosecutors said.
Body camera video the 8 News Now Investigators obtained shows the perspective of one officer as she and her partner first attempt to enter the apartment and then rescue the children.
“Hey, it’s Metro police. We just want to make sure everything’s OK,” the officer says in the video.
Stamper had told investigators Doss was “violent towards all the children” except the 2-year-old, police said. Stamper said he hit the children with “belts, extension cords, skillets, his hands and feet,” documents said. “Amanda said all the children are covered with marks from their neck down.”
The day before, Doss reportedly told Stamper he believed the child in the cage 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.”
“We already talked to your parents, OK?” the officer says in the body camera video as a child on the other side of the door refuses to open it. “We need to open the door so we can talk to you.”
The back-and-forth between the children and the officers lasts for about 15 minutes.
“We want to make sure you guys aren’t hurt,” the officer says.
“We’re not hurt we’re fine,” a child is heard saying in the video.
“I can’t leave until I physically see you sweetie, please answer the door,” the officer responds.
A maintenance worker eventually convinces a child to remove the security chain and open the door. The three adults cross the threshold, discovering the six children and several dogs inside.
Officers struggle to open a padlock on the cage, which has the two boys in it, the video showed. Police then lead the children outside, several of them saying their father told them not to open the doors for strangers.
The 11-year-old child, who appears severely beaten, tells police he has not eaten in days.
“He kept saying that he was always hungry and that’s why he stole and then he said it’s food that’s in the trash can so how is that even stealing,” a detective told a grand jury. “And he kept saying that he needed big food because he was a big boy now and that he would have to share like one large fry from McDonald’s with like all six kids, his six siblings I mean, and just that he was never really fed and that’s why he stole.”
“He hit my face in the cage because I was squished up trying to get out of the cage because I didn’t do anything and I was freaking out,” the child says in the video.
During the grand jury hearing, a prosecutor asked the detective how long the child was locked in the cage.
“He said all day every day,” the detective responded. “He said too long.”
The officer consoles the children as they await paramedics.
“You’re not a bad kid, this is just a really crappy situation,” the officer said. “And we’re going to get you some help and this is not going to happen again.”
In an interview with police, Doss reportedly said he knew he “beat [the child] pretty bad” but he had “no choice,” documents said. Doss said he never witnessed Stamper hit the children.
“If she had done anything, she would have been subjected to serious, serious abuse,” Stamper’s public defender told the court in June. Prosecutors also said Stamper worked as a sex worker at Doss’ direction but they added she was aware of the alleged abuse.
Stamper was being held without bail due to a probation violation, records showed. Judge Andrew Wong initially set Doss’ bail at $250,000 in June. Doss’ bail was raised to $500,000 following his indictment.
Both Doss and Stamper were due in court Tuesday. Both have pleaded not guilty.
To report child abuse, visit: https://dcfs.nv.gov/Tips/CA/ChildAbuse. To reach the National Domestic Violence Hotline, call: 800-799-7233.