The Seattle home where the Emery brothers lived
August 25, 2017 06:22 PM

In a house in Seattle’s Meridian neighborhood, three reclusive brothers lived together for more than 50 years. Neighbors rarely saw the men — and authorities now suspect that their small yellow residence was a house of horrors.

The three siblings who lived inside — Charles Emery, 82; Thomas Emery, 80; and 78-year-old Edwin Emery — allegedly amassed a “staggering amount” of child pornography and other depictions of the abuse of children, according to charging documents obtained by PEOPLE.

Police said the brothers were arrested on Monday: Edwin and Thomas in their home and Charles in a nursing-care facility, where he was being treated for dementia.

PEOPLE obtained 45 pages of court documents from the Superior Court of King County, Washington, detailing some of the accusations against the Emerys. In an affidavit filed by prosecutor Daniel Satterberg, their home was described as “littered from floor to ceiling with child exploitation images.”

Among the disturbing finds were “boxes of obscene material, including pornographic images of underage girls, young girls’ clothing/shoes, magazine clippings of missing and murdered young girls, and handwritten notes detailing the kidnapping, torturing, raping and murdering of young girls.”

According to the court documents, a younger relative came to the house to help clean up and when she found the boxes, she called 911 and reported the brothers to police.

After authorities arrived on the scene, the affidavit alleges, they found children’s toys, young girls’ used underwear and dozens of pairs of little girls’ shoes. Police claim they also found dozens of handwritten letters that detailed “ritualistic and satanic sacrifices” of small girls.

Questioned at the nursing-care facility about some of what was found in his home, Charles Emery allegedly told police the writings “were all fantasy,” the Seattle Times reports. His brothers described the materials as “Charles’ hobby,” according to the Times.

The charging documents indicate that detectives previously questioned Edwin Emery about child porn found on his computer in 2013, but no charges were filed.

At the time, prosecutors say that Edwin, then 73, allegedly “disclosed that he sexually abused [a female relative] when she was 8 to 10 years old.”

Detectives are now seeking to identify the children in the photos that they recovered from the Emerys’ home. They hope to find victims who may have been molested through the years.

“It’s very clear that these three individuals have an obsession with young female children, they’ve had this obsession for most if not all of their lives — and they acted on it,” Seattle Police Capt. Mike Edwards said in a news conference, according to local TV station KIRO. “These writings express desires to kill children.”

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On Friday, police began searching the Emery property, including digging underneath sheds.

Capt. Edwards told reporters that authorities are exploring whether there is any connection between the brothers and unsolved cases in the area involving children.

The three Emerys have all been charged with two counts of possession of depictions of minors engaged in sexual conduct, and authorities say that more charges against them are pending. They are reportedly set to appear in court next week.

Court documents do not list attorneys for the men who could comment on their behalf.

They are each being held on $500,000 bond and have not yet entered pleas.

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