Byline: By Melanie Burney, Associated Press
Authorities first entered the shabby white ranch house to investigate the drowning of a 3-year-old girl in a backyard pool. Inside, they found a sadomasochistic dungeon filled with whips, leather masks, a coffin and a guillotine.
They also found evidence of drug use and child abuse.
"My wife and I always had questions about what was going on there. They were just weird," said Joseph Price, 77, a retired engineer who lives across the street. "It's a shame that it took this tragedy to precipitate finding out about these weirdos, a little girl had to die."
Michael Wann, who police said was taking PCP when his daughter drowned, is charged with child endangerment. Wann had left his daughter with a babysitter who obviously did not keep track of the child. Wann returned home to find that his daughter had drown and at some time before, been sexually assaulted.
The drowning investigation led to unrelated charges against the self-proclaimed dungeon master and dominatrix who live in the house. Martin Hunsinger, 51, is charged with child endangerment. Police say he strapped a 7-year-old girl to a wheel and beat her.
Hunsinger's girl friend, Dorina D. Pizio, 47, was charged with witness tampering after authorities alleged that she tried to persuade the 7-year-old not to cooperate with police. Authorities would not say how the girl was connected to the couple.
All three were charged Tuesday. Pizio is free on $7,500 bail. Wann, with bail set at $7,500, and Hunsinger, at $25,000, remained in jail Friday.
Camden County Prosecutor Lee A. Solomon said Friday that Samantha Wann was sexually assaulted before she drowned in the 4-foot-deep above-ground pool. Prosecutors are awaiting test results to pinpoint exactly when the assault occurred.
"It could have been immediately before; it could have been hours before; it could have been days before," Solomon said.
Prosecutors are trying to determine if the death was an accident or a homicide.
Wann's relatives said he would not hurt his daughter.
No one answered the door of the house Friday.
Reproduced with permission from:
The Arizona Republic
Byline by Melanie Burney, Associated Press
©Copyright 1999 Arizona Republic
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