LAS CRUCES, N.M. — Las Cruces police arrested a mother and her boyfriend on suspicion of leaving the woman’s 8-year-old adoptive daughter home alone and locked in a wooden cage Friday evening.
Cindy Patriarchias, 33, was arrested and charged with one count of negligently causing child abuse, while and Edmond Gonzales, 37, was charged with one count of negligently permitting child abuse.
"It makes me sick to my stomach," said John Mullins, a manager at the Zia Shadows Mobile Home Park where the incident took place. "It makes me sick to think that somebody would be doing something like that."
Police went to the couple’s home Friday evening to check on the girl, who suffers from microcephaly after police said Patriarchias' estranged husband called police when he did not see her at the school's movie night.
Police believe Patriarchias and Gonzales left the girl home alone and took the woman’s three other children to watch a movie at Columbia Elementary School.
Police said Patriarchias let officers into the home and that's when an officer found a large wooden cage in the corner of a bedroom and inside was Patriarchias’ 8-year-old daughter.
According to police, the officer took the girl from the cage and where she was later looked at by medical personnel and did not appear to have any physical injuries.
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.
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.