Police gather evidence in caged girl case

Posted at: 06/13/2013 6:24 PM
By: Lauren Hansard, KOB Eyewitness News 4

The initial information to police came in the form of a 911 call about alleged domestic violence at this house.

'There's been a lot of trouble out here lately.  My daughter's just been beaten and she has a baby to take care of,' were the cries from the 911 call.

Things changed when police saw a 5-year-old girl crying for help from a window.  We obtained the police report that gives us a clear picture of what police said they saw inside the house.

Officers report both mother and father were highly intoxicated to the point of not knowing their names.

The temperature was hotter than 105 degrees in the inside the home and the child had no access to water.  For the first time we’re hearing police saw bruises on the child.  We continue to ask if and when the parents will be charged.

"The child is safe and protected and out of the environment, so that buys us some time," said Lt. Britt Snyder of the Chaves County Sheriff Department.

It’s time they need to put together evidence and build a solid case.

"We don't want to arrest people only to have the case dismissed two days later," said Snyder.

Investigators point to a 2009 Supreme Court ruling in a case from Tularosa that states a dirty house does not constitute as child abuse or neglect, but the Sheriff’s Department said they believe they have more than just a dirty environment.

"They have the child caged up, which we believe is never okay," said Snyder.

Investigators are also checking the little girl’s medical records as they continue to develop their case.