More details are surfacing on Wednesday about two Manitoba parents accused of sexually and physically abusing their young daughters.
The couple appeared in provincial court in Dauphin, Man., on Tuesday, facing child pornography and sexual abuse charges, among others.
A small bike and plastic toys were strewn around the yard of a run-down home on a dead-end country road that's believed to be the place where the three young girls lived with their father and another woman.
Neighbours told CBC News that RCMP officers swooped in last week with trucks and vans. They said they are disgusted to learn why.
The father of the girls and another woman — some say a girlfriend — are accused of keeping the two eldest daughters locked up without food, sexually abusing them and creating child pornography.
RCMP say the pair has been charged with numerous offences that include sexual assault, making child pornography, forcible confinement, failing to provide the necessities of life, and assault with a weapon.
CBC News has learned that a relative had notified police.
Biological mother passed away 3 years ago
Neighbours said the children's biological mother passed away three years ago. According to court documents, the alleged abuse began at around that time.
"We discovered often that the children were not fed, they were locked in their rooms for most of the day, and the two older girls were also forced to perform sexual acts," said RCMP spokesperson Tara Seel.
Neighbours said the children's father was mysterious, unfriendly and made it known to stay off his property.
He remains in custody while the other woman is out on bail and staying with family in Winnipeg.
One neighbour told CBC News she can't help but wonder if she could have helped the young girls.
RCMP did not disclose the names of the accused, or the community involved, to protect the identities of the victims.
The three girls were initially taken into care by Child and Family Services, but they are currently staying with family members.
Some relatives told CBC News their current priority is to protect the girls and to get counselling for them.