KEY POINTS

  • Lorraine Garza was charged with two counts of abandoning or endangering a child
  • The house's water service was cut off on May 21
  • The house was infested with bugs and it had no air conditioning

A 45-year-old Texas woman has been arrested after her three adopted children were found living in filthy conditions in a house without food or water.

Lorraine Garza, of Converse, was charged on June 18 with two counts of abandoning or endangering a child, according to Bexar County jail records.

The children, aged 11, 13 and 15, told a neighbor that Garza left the house on June 3 and they did not hear from her after that. The neighbor allowed the children to have food and take a bath at her house for almost 10 days. She called the police and alerted them on June 14,  KSAT reported.

The eldest child told a San Antonio Police Department detective that since Garza had taken the family's only cell phone with her, they couldn't contact her. The teen girl also said they approached the neighbor for help as there was no water in the house and the food was spoiled.

Investigators said the house was infested with insects and trash was scattered all over the floor. They found spoiled food in the house and animal feces on the carpet, according to the arrest report.

The air conditioning in the house was also not working when the outside temperature was around 100 degrees. The teen girl told police that all the three children slept together in her room as it was the only room that had a working ceiling fan, reported News 4 SA on Wednesday.

Police said the heat inside the house was unbearable that at one point, the teenager requested if she could continue the interview outside, the arrest affidavit revealed.

The house's water service was disconnected on May 21 for failing to pay bills, records from the Converse Water Department show.

Garza was living in a motel with the children's 9-year-old brother when she was arrested, Kens 5 reported citing the arrest affidavit. It was not known if the boy was also an adopted child.

The children were removed from the home by the Texas Department of Family and Adult Protective Services. Garza was later released on a $3,000 bond. 

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