A mother, Robin Willette Rumsey, and her friend, Krista Jean Miller, were arrested after police said they duct-taped Rumsey's teenage son, forced him to smoke marijuana and then poured hot sauce in his eyes.
The 14-year-old boy, whose name wasn't released, was returned into his father’s custody.
Authorities arrested Rumsey, 38, and Miller, 33, Tuesday on multiple felony child abuse and endangerment charges.
Police in a suburb of Salt Lake City, where the incident took place, said on Thursday that both women could face even more child-abuse charges.
"This is not discipline that any child should have to go through," West Valley Police Sgt. Jason Hauer said. "It's definitely abuse."
Hauer said the women frequently abused the boy starting two years ago. He was initially punished for breaking a glass dish by getting Tabasco sauce poured into his eyes. The boy was also forced to smoke marijuana, had alcohol poured over his face and the women held him in a basement, police said.
Rumsey and Miller were living in a house together, owned by Miller’s mother. The two women had moved back into the home the day before they were arrested after being evicted for not paying rent.
Miller’s foster mother, Marsha Christensen, told KSL-TV “She was not raised this way.” She added she believes a long custody battle over the child caused the allegations of child abuse.
Sgt. Hauer said police didn't know of a custody fight for the boy in the six months the case has been under investigation.
"This case is full of mysteries. There are a lot of questions coming up that I don't have answers to, mostly because the case is still active," Hauer said on Thursday. "The arrests made two days ago with Krista and Robin are probably just the beginning of other allegations that are going to come to light in this case."