A woman and her boyfriend are under arrest in Las Cruces, N.M., after police found an 8-year-old developmentally disabled girl locked in a wooden cage in the couple's mobile home.
According to the Las Cruces Sun-News, Cindy Patriarchias, 33, and Edmond Gonzales, 37, of the 100 block of Mohawk, were taken into custody Friday evening after police were called to the couple’s home to check on the welfare of the young girl who was suspected of being left alone.
Reports indicate that Patriarchias and Gonzales took Patriarchias' three other children to watch a movie at Columbia Elementary School. Patriarchias' estranged husband called police when he arrived at the school and learned that the 8-year-old girl had been left unattended at home.
When officers showed to the mobile home, it appeared dark and occupied, the Sun-News reports. Further investigative reporting revealed that nearly an hour later, Patriarchias returned home and allowed officers inside. While checking the home, an officer allegedly discovered a large wooden cage in the corner of a bedroom. Inside the cage was Patriarchias' 8-year-old daughter.
The Sun-News reports that the girl did not appear to have any physical injuries as a result of the containment, but detectives learned that she suffers from microcephaly, a rare neurological condition characterized by the child's head being significantly smaller than normal, often accompanied by developmental issues.
Measurements of the wooden cage, as cited by the Sun-News, came in at roughly 29 inches wide, 60 inches long and 49.5 inches tall.
Patriarchias is charged with negligently causing child abuse and Gonzales with negligently permitting child abuse. Court records indicate they appeared in court Monday but haven't yet entered pleas. Cash-only bonds for the two have been set at $25,000 each. Detectives are reportedly continuing their investigation.