Shirley Couple Arrested for Abuse of Adopted Children

SHIRLEY, Ark.- A Van Buren county couple is arrested for child abuse.  

Richard and Martha Roesch were accused of physically and emotionally abusing their four adopted children.  

The arrest came last Wednesday after a several weeks long DHS investigation. 

One child told DHS investigators he was "stabbed with a fork", another talked about a history of back trauma from injuries.  The youngest, saying she had been shocked with a cattle prod on her "private area".  

All of the children say they were forced to wear plastic bags and sleep on tarps -- only getting a bucket for a bathroom in some cases.

"You can't do anything, but sit and cry for the things they had to go through," says Lottie Carroll, who lives in Shirley. 

The couple started out as foster parents but later adopted the children.
Carroll says her grandchildren would have been in foster care if it hadn't been for family members, and she believes DHS officials failed to do their job in this case.

The couple admitted to forcing the children to use the bucket as a toilet and having the children wear bags. They also admitted that Martha got into a fight with one of the older children and kicked her legs out from underneath her, causing her to land on her back.

The Roeschs are in the Van Buren county detention center facing felony battery charges.  Their bond has been set at $250,000 each. 


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