WAYNESVILLE, Mo. — Neighbors in Waynesville are speaking out after two women have been charged in the death of a 5-year-old girl.
“To think that a mother would do that to her own children is just it’s — there’s no words. It’s absolutely crazy,” said Steven Riley.
Court documents say Shamira Buford and Angela West tied the child to their bed to prevent them from eating during the night.
KOLR10 spoke to a woman off-camera who says she stayed at the home very briefly with Buford, West and seven children.
“We had to leave because we started seeing the truth of everything. We couldn’t be around it,” Erin Wieprecht said. “All of them poor little, poor little kids were tortured. They were abused to the worst extent.”
Investigators say Buford and West confessed to putting a sock in the child’s mouth in an effort to keep her quiet during the night and believed she died of asphyxiation.
The investigation began when a school resource officer at the Waynesville School District called the police after another child living in the home told them his sister was on the ground and he could not wake her up.
Court documents say Buford and West told detectives that at least one of the children in the home had assisted the two women with restraining the child, but that minor told police they felt as if they had to do it.
Neighbors say they had no idea what was happening inside those four walls.
“It’s just jaw-dropping,” Riley said. “It’s crazy to think that something like that could happen right next door, you know?”
“Too many kids dying. Cause it starts in the house. It don’t start in the streets; it starts in the house,” Christopher H. said. “And it starts with the parents.”
People KOLR10 spoke to say they wish they knew what was happening sooner.
“I would have stepped in and helped these kids out,” Christopher said.
“If I would have heard something, I would have went over there myself. I wouldn’t have waited for the police,” Riley said.
“Don’t torture your kids,” Christopher said. “Give them to somebody who would love to have your kids and give them a good house and a home.”
“May God have mercy on your soul, because I sure wouldn’t,” Wieprecht added.
At this time, Buford and West are being held without bond.