Texas couple accused of locking girl in wooden cage

Texas couple accused of locking girl in wooden cage

POSTED: Monday, January 28, 2013 - 7:00pm

UPDATED: Monday, January 28, 2013 - 7:04pm

Police arrested a Las Cruces mother and her live-in boyfriend who are suspected of leaving the woman’s 8-year-old adoptive daughter home alone and locked in a wooden cage.

Cindy Patriarchias, 33, and Edmond Gonzales, 37, were arrested Friday evening, police said. Patriarchias is charged with one count of negligently causing child abuse while Gonzales is charged with one count of negligently permitting child abuse.

Police were called to the couple’s home shortly before 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25, to check on the welfare of the young girl who was suspected of being left home alone while Patriarchias and Gonzales took the woman’s three other children to watch a movie at Columbia Elementary School.

First-arriving officers found the mobile home to be dark and it appeared to be unoccupied. Nearly an hour later Patriarchias returned home and allowed officers inside. While checking the home an officer discovered a large wooden cage in the corner of a bedroom, where they Patriarchias’ 8-year-old daughter.

The officer removed the girl from the cage and carried her outside the home where she was attended to by medical personnel. The girl did not appear to have any physical injuries as a result of the containment but detectives learned that she suffers from microcephaly.

The homemade wooden cage measured roughly 29 inches wide, 60 inches long and 49.5 inches tall. The cage had two latches on the door and a baby crib’s mattress inside, on the floor, investigators said.

Detectives learned that Patriarchias insisted on leaving her daughter home alone, confined in the wooden cage, while her other three children and boyfriend attended a school-sponsored movie. 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. Detectives discovered that Patriarchias was in the process of adopting the 8-year-old girl.

Patriarchias and Gonzales were booked into the Dona Ana County Detention Center with cash-only bonds set at $25,000 each. Detectives are continuing their investigation.

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