LOWER PROVIDENCE TWP., Pa. - The neighborhood is a picture perfect setting of suburbia. Flowers, trash cans, and those running or walking their dogs are all part of the scene. But on closer look a nefarious symbol was spotted by a neighbor.
"About four months ago someone put tinfoil over the windows so no one could see in." Said a neighbor of Joseph Myher. "I knew there was something wrong but I couldn't pinpoint what it was," she said.
This neighbor who didn't want to go on camera could never have guessed the horror of what was going on behind the walls of Myher's home in Lower Providence Township.
Squeezing fingers with pliers, sticking blades under fingernails and using a dog shock collar are just some of the ways authorities say Joseph Myher abused his kids.
"Very secretive, he would not allow his kids to play with any other children in the neighborhood," she said. "The kids never looked anyone in the eye," she added.
Court records reveal what Myher's now 11-year-old daughter and 13-year-old son told police. They said the abuse started six years ago and their father would beat them with PVC pipe wrapped in silver tape or crown molding, strangle them to the point of passing out and constantly punch and kick them.
The 11-year-old even told police she has a bald spot from where Myher pulled her hair.
With the son describing how his father would strap the dog shock collar on his calf or stomach and turn the power setting to 100, the max, to shock him. He told police Myher wanted them to perform tasks throughout the day and would punish them if they did it wrong.
"If anyone in the community had any idea this was going on, it probably wouldn't have happened," said Laura Wingerter.
The children were home schooled and according to neighbors had little interaction with others.
Police say back in March Myher's wife waited until he fell asleep and then went to the ER with a fractured skull, which started the investigation.
Wingerter, a mother of two young kids, visits her mom in the neighborhood."I don't think anyone would ever think something like this would happened where they live," she said.
Court records show Myher did admit he did many of these things but said it was not to hurt the kids.
He faces a slew of charges including aggravated assault, conspiracy, and reckless endangering involving children.
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