Police were tipped off by Hobson's 19-year-old daughter Megan that the children were allegedly being abused.
"It's kind of scary that you could live that close to somebody and not know that they are abusing their children in such an very bad way", said Lisa Moreno, who lived near Hobson's old home.
She was accused of using pepper spray on a child's genitals, applying a lighter or stun gun to a victim's genitals, arm or other body parts, and causing the children to become malnourished.
Hobson pleaded not guilty to dozens of felony counts, including child abuse and kidnapping. Five months later, she was ruled not fit to stand trial.
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In August, Pinal County Superior Court Judge Delia Neal declared Hobson incompetent to stand trial.
Hobson died Tuesday in a Scottsdale hospital, almost three months after a judge declared her incompetent to stand trial. But county attorney Kent Volkmer said in a news conference that he was saddened by the death, according to the Maricopa Monitor. "As soon as she can be reasonably brought back into our jail, she will be brought back into our jail, and we will be required to provide significant and substantial medical care". As recently as October 28, the county attorney's office had received a progress report that Hobson was able to carry on conversations and identify people relevant to the case.
But a week ago, Volkmer said Hobson stopped eating and taking medications.
Alvarado was unable to say how she died.
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When asked why were charges were dropped against those two sons, Volkmer said, "Just because we are morally outraged, just because we believe they should be held accountable, if we can't prove the case, we will not bring it".
KNXV-TV reported that the office planned to wait for an official death certificate before dismissing charges against Hobson but would pursue her assets, including "more than $100 000 in cash" that would go to her children now in state custody.
When police raided the home one hungry child was found to be fearful of eating a bag of chips that police gave her because she did not want Hobson to smell them on her breath.
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