Woman Arrested After Officers Found Special Needs Child Alone In Filthy NW OKC Apartment

Thursday, June 25th 2020, 4:22 pm
By: Jennifer Pierce

Concerned residents called police on Wednesday after finding a naked child wandering their northwest Oklahoma City apartment complex.

The 6-year-old's mother Melissa Gonzalez, 28, was arrested and is being held in the Oklahoma County jail on a $50,000 bond. She is charged with one count of child neglect and faces an Oklahoma Department of Human Services investigation. 

Not long before police were called to the apartment near Wilshire Boulevard and Lyrewood Lane, one resident remembered seeing the child in a window.

“I saw the little girl sitting in the window, naked,” said Angie, apartment resident. “I went to go try get help for her but by the time I came back she was gone.”

Other people witnessed the dirty and unclothed child wandering the apartment complex and called police. When officers showed up, they were unable to get any information from the child.

“She was nonverbal,” said Master Sgt. Gary Knight, Oklahoma City Police Department. “She would not respond to them, would not talk to them. As it turns out, she is a special needs child.”

One of the officers went inside the family's apartment to see if anyone else was inside. Instead, he found filthy living conditions.

The report stated the officer "smelled and saw puddles of what looked like dog urine" and “dog feces was visible on the floor and on the wall."

Police learned this was not the first time Gonzalez was accused of neglecting her special needs child.

“The management told officers that this was not unusual for the mother to just leave the residence and leave the child unattended for long periods of time,” Knight said.

Gonzalez came home while police were still there. She told them she was down the street at a friend's house. Officers said they noticed she smelled like alcohol.

“How can you leave a kid home for your needs?” said Michael Simon, neighbor. “That’s bad parenting. Like I said, I hope they went to jail. I don’t care nothing for parents like that.”

The little girl was taken to OU Children's Hospital to be checked for injuries and to document her condition for the investigation.

Animal welfare was also called to the scene to pick up a dog that was left in the apartment.