LAS CRUCES, N.M. — An 8-year-old girl was given medicine to knock her out before a Las Cruces couple left the girl inside a wooden cage in Friday evening, according to a criminal complaint.
Cindy Patriarchias, 33, was arrested and charged with one count of negligently causing child abuse, while her boyfriend Edmond Gonzales, 37, was charged with one count of negligently permitting child abuse.
According to the documents the girl was given medicine before Patriarchias and Gonzales took their three other children to watch a movie at Columbia Elementary School.
In the complaint, one of the children told police the girl was usually put in the cage when she misbehaved.
Police said Cindy Patriarchias' estranged John Patriarchias was the one who called them after he did not see the 8-year-old at the school.
The documents state John Patriarchias told police he built the cage to protect the girl who suffers from microcephaly.
He told police the girl would get out of her toddler bed and would get a hold of cleaning and medicine supplies during the night, according to the report.
He added the cage was never used as punishment while he was living at the home.
The complaint states Gonzales admitted to police he was aware the cage was the girl's bed and they should not have left the girl home alone.
The Children, Youth, and Families Department said the 8-year-old girl and the three other children are in state custody and are doing well.
A department spokesperson said the couple was never licensed to be a foster parent and were not in the process of adoption through the department.