Disabled girl (8) found locked in cage
Police in New Mexico have arrested a woman after her disabled eight-year-old foster daughter was found locked in a wooden cage in a darkened mobile home.
Cindy Patriarchias (33), and her boyfriend were arrested after police found the caged girl last Friday evening, Las Cruces Police Department spokesman Dan Trujillo said.
They had left the girl alone in the cage while they brought the women’s three other children to watch a film at Columbia Elementary School.
He said police, acting on a tip from the woman's estranged husband, found the girl in the corner of a bedroom locked inside the cage, about 1.5m high, slightly more than 60cm wide and about 1.75m long.
The homemade wooden structure had two latches and a baby crib mattress on the floor, Mr Trujillio said.
He said Ms Patriarchias had been charged with one count of negligent child abuse while her boyfriend Edmond Gonzales (37) was charged with one count of negligently permitting child abuse.
Ms Patriarchias was released on bond last night but Mr Gonzales is still being held, authorities said.
The girl was seen by medical personnel but showed no visible signs of physical abuse. She apparently suffers from microcephaly, a condition in which the head or cranial capacity is abnormally small, Mr Trujillo said.
He said detectives did not know why the girl was left locked in the cage. She and three of Ms Patriarchias' other children had been placed in state custody, he said.
A police spokesman said Ms Patriarchias had been trying to adopt the girl but had not been able to reach the girl's birth mother to get her consent.