New Mexico mother wanted for child, animal abuse found


NEW MEXICO (KRQE) –  A mother with a long criminal rap sheet of child and animal abuse has been evading law enforcement for years, but a recent tip led to her capture in rural Colorado.

It’s been nearly two years since San Juan County issued an arrest warrant for Martha Crouch. This comes after the now-58-year-old pleaded no contest to child abuse. In 2019, several of her 15 children reported extreme abuse, including beatings and even forcing her children to watch as she boiled puppies. Photos from the Farmington Daily Times show Crouch in court at that time when she claimed she needed to be out of jail because of her health issues. 

Since then, Crough was supposed to be on probation in San Juan County. However, just last week, Crouch was found hiding in rural Walsenburg, Colorado, after her husband, Timothy Crouch died, seemingly from natural causes, according to Huerfano County Sheriff’s Office.

“The coroner’s office did their investigation, and they felt it was weird but not enough to justify going any further with it,” said Sheriff’s Office Captain Craig Lessar.

Captain Lessar said after learning about the death of Timothy Crouch, one of Crouch’s oldest children called to alert authorities of their mother’s history. We were able to find that she had an outstanding warrant outside of New Mexico. The only problem: Martha Crouch was nowhere to be found.

“Our adult reporting party had stated that in the past, they had been known to make false rooms and all those things inside homes for hiding purposes. At one point, Captain LaPorte touches a wall where there should be a heater vent, and the wall moves a little. Captain LaPorte opens it a little, shuts it, and lets everybody know that they are inside that false wall,” said Captain Lessar.

Crouch was found with her underaged daughter, whose whereabouts were also unknown for nearly three years.

“There was resistance, and we were able to eventually place them into custody. Martha, obviously for her warrant, but due to the condition of the home, due to the hiding of the other child,” Captain Lessar said.

Crouch is now facing a felony charge for child abuse in Huerfano County. Couch is being held in Huerfano County, Colorado, with a $5,000 cash bond. Crouch is expected to be extradited back to New Mexico.

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