Experts in the Ozarks describe the warning signs of child abuse

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. Children held captive by their parents in California is sending shockwaves across the country.

Experts we talked to said this can happen anywhere. They urge us to take action the minute something in our neighborhood seems suspicious.

"We do have a substantial amount of child abuse and neglect cases in this area but just to fathom the age span of these children, to be held captive in that home like that, to me, is just beyond belief," said CASA volunteer Julie Good.

Thirteen children endured egregious abuse at the hands of their parents. It's been reported that people living in that California neighborhood didn't notice something so horrific was happening.

"If you know there's a bunch of children in a home and you're not seeing any signs of them, to me that would be a little bit of a red flag right there," said Good.

She says even a brief interaction with the abused children should have set off bells and whistles.

"When you hear of these children and they are defenseless children that are chained to furniture, going without food, without just your basic necessities. The damage it does to those children for years to come. You're going through probably the most difficult time of your life and you're just a child," she said.

Good is part of a network of people that give children like these a voice.

"It's heartbreaking to see what they go through. It's heartbreaking to hear stories whether it's in our community or across the country," she said.

Officials say you can make reports anonymously either to police or to the department of family services.