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Woman arrested after 5-year-old girl is found being forced to live in closet

Oklahoma City police arrested a woman accused of forcing a 5-year-old girl in her home to live in a closet among her own urine and feces.
BY TIFFANY GIBSON Modified: July 20, 2011 at 9:51 pm •  Published: July 20, 2011

A malnourished 5-year-old girl forced to live in a closet weighed less than 20 pounds when taken to a hospital Monday.

The girl had several marks on her thighs that appeared to be from being beaten with a cord, according to a probable cause affidavit. Her arms and legs were very thin, and the bones in her joints were visible.

She had very little muscle tissue on her bones and a couple of small cuts on her arms with dried blood, according to a police report.

Her mother, Asusena Marie Gonzales, 31, was arrested on complaints of child neglect and child abuse.

Officers were called to the 1100 block of SW 36 shortly before 11 a.m. Monday to help a state Department of Human Services worker. The employee told police the girl's caretaker was forcing her to stay in the closet and gave her a cup to urinate and defecate in.

The girl appeared to be very emaciated and beaten, police said. Five other children were placed into protective custody.

Seemed ‘normal'

In their absence, scooters lie in the driveway of the house. Next-door neighbor Brenda Iniguez, 22, said the family had recently moved to the neighborhood.

She said she remembers watching the children play outside.

Neighbor Veronica Ramirez, 31, said she's surprised to hear about the neglect.

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