Texas Deputies Arrest Grandmother Of Emaciated Girl

Thursday, July 21st 2011, 3:04 pm
By: News 9

LaShauna Sewell, News9.com

DENTON COUNTY, Texas – The Denton County Sheriff's Office has arrested the grandmother of a 19-pound, 5-year-old girl found living in a closet.  Maria Gonzalez was arrested Thursday afternoon.

Police arrested the girl's mother, Asusena Gonzales, on Monday, July 18. Someone called the Department of Human Services to report a case of a starving child. When a case worker went to the house, she found Gonzales' severely malnourished 5-year-old daughter.

7/19/11 Related Story: OKC Police Arrest Mom Accused Of Abusing Malnourished Child

One of Gonzales' five other children, who were all in good health, told police their grandmother, Maria Gonzales, used to live with them and still babysat the children at least two days a week while their mother went to work.

The case worker did speak with Maria, who said she moved out of the house "because my daughter was not taking care of the children." Police say the girl's condition was so horrific, it was impossible for Maria Gonzales not to have known about the alleged abuse. Police issued an arrest warrant for Maria for child neglect.

According to court documents, when the case worker asked the girl where she slept, the child led her to a closet in her mother's bedroom. In the closet, the case worker found a cup filled with urine and feces. Asusena Gonzales told the case worker the child used the cup as a bathroom.

The girl and her five siblings were removed the home and taken into DHS custody. The girl was taken to the hospital. She weighed just 19 pounds. Police searched her medical records and found the child weighed more at 18 months than she currently does.