A New Mexico couple has been charged with child abuse after allegedly locking their eight-year-old foster daughter in a cage before heading out to watch a movie.
Cindy Patriarchias, 33, and her boyfriend, Edmond Gonzales, 37, took her three biological children to see a movie at an elementary school last week while the young girl, who suffers from disabilities, remained locked away in their mobile home. After police were alerted about the situation by a call from Patriarchias' estranged husband, they found the child locked in a large homemade wooden cage in the corner of a bedroom.
A spokesman for the local police department, Dan Trujillo, described the scene: “The arriving officer who peeked in there thought he would see a pet, a dog possibly but as it turned out to be this young eight year old.”
Talking about the cage, which measured about 29 inches wide, 60 inches long and 49.5 inches tall and contained a baby crib's mattress, Trujillo said, "It did have vents. It was made out of wood. It was obviously homemade. It had vents along the top. She had already outgrown this, if you will. She was already too tall for it."
The girl, who suffers from microcephaly and has the mental capacity of a 2-year-old, did not appear to have any physical injuries as a result of the confinement. Patriarchias is not the girl’s biological mother of the girl but has been trying to adopt her. She has been charged with negligently causing child abuse. Gonzales was charged with negligently permitting child abuse.
Neighbors of the couple were shocked by what had happened. “There's nothing to say. That's just wrong. You can't do that to any kid, no matter if there's something wrong with them or not. They're human beings," said Susan Stoehner.
Source: (Daily Mail)