Gun, tasers and zipties found as evidence in Phoenix child abuse case, aunt charged with abusing 3 relatives

An aunt is behind bars after kidnapping and abusing her niece and nephews in Phoenix. Sarah Canez, 33, was charged with 12 counts of child abuse. Police say she ziptied the children and subjected them to acts of sexual abuse. 

The kids escaped early yesterday morning.

These kids had already lost their mom and were living with their aunt. 

The person responsible for protecting them was the one that threatened to kill them. 

What happened?

Three kids, ages 16, 10 and 7, escaped from their aunt, running to a neighbor's door in the early morning on June 17th near Indian School Road and Interstate 17.

As the 16-year-old girl was screaming, pleading for help, a neighbor noticed physical trauma on two little boys.

"She rushed inside. Really scared. But she had scissors in her hand," the neighbor said.

Watch FOX 10 Phoenix live:

"To see them like that, the kids with their eyes wide open, like they're saying please, please help us. And we said, 'you're safe, you're safe.'" 

The neighbor, a mother herself, was in shock and immediately called 911.

"I wanted to cry because I wouldn't want to see any kids like that," she said.

"(One of the boys) bruises all over his body. More on his face, on the side of his face. And then he had zip ties on his hands. He could barely even walk. He was really pale. He said that he didn't eat for days."

Evidence against Canez

After a search warrant on Canez's apartment, police found a handgun, tasers, zipties, a knife, plastic bags, and wooden objects; everything the kids tell police Canez used to abuse them. Some of the abuse was believed to be sexual in nature.

"I wanted to cry because I wouldn't want to see any kids like that."

The 16-year-old girl told neighbors it was her mom's voice that encouraged her to escape.

"She dreamed of her mom telling her to save her brothers and to run here and that we were going to help her," the neighbor said.

Canez was arrested and told police she could not care for the children anymore and could not deal with it. 

Canez is charged with 12 counts of child abuse, as well as kidnapping and aggravated assault. 

She is being held on a $250,000 bond.