Four people are accused of forcing children into plastic containers and leaving them in there with only a hole cut out of the top for air.
James Allen Taylor, Samantha Marie Taylor, Glenn Allen Adams and Daniel Adam McKenney are facing charges of endangering children and unlawful restraint.
A grand jury indicted the four suspects this week in connection with the alleged crimes at a house in Steubenville, Ohio.
Jefferson County Assistant Prosecutor Jeff Bruzzese said the investigation started in June, when another adult saw the three children -- ages 5, 6 and 8 -- in the plastic tote containers.
"That friend that found the children immediately took steps to obviously get them out of that situation," Bruzzese said.
The Taylors are accused of putting the children in the totes and leaving them there; Adams and McKenney are accused of knowing about the alleged crimes and not reporting them to police.
"Two of the adults took a main role in ordering and directing these children in the totes while there were a couple other adults that assisted and aided in this abuse by cutting holes in the top of these totes, as well as engaging in some other acts that we believe constitute in abuse," Bruzzese said.
Bruzzese said, according to the children, they were "really crammed into these totes."
"There is some indication of past abuse and corporal-type punishment. We believe … the investigation goes far beyond the normal perimeters of parental guardian child discipline," he said.
Since the June incident when the children were found in the tote containers, they have been taken out of that home and are safe, staying with family.