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.
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.
“They seemed like normal people,” she said. “When I saw the police taking the kids, I started crying.”
Ramirez said the only interaction she has had with the family is giving one of the girls a free chow chow and shepherd mix puppy about two months ago.
“I don't understand how people can mistreat their kids,” Ramirez said.
Rest of home was clean
Officers observed that the closet smelled of urine and feces.
The rest of the house appeared to be clean, and the other children appeared healthy, according to the report.
The DHS worker told police it was alleged that the girl was the target of the abuse because she looked like her father, and Gonzales doesn't like him.
Police said Gonzales told them she hasn't taken the girl to see a doctor since she was 4.
She said the girl was premature by a couple of weeks and weighed a little more than 4 pounds when she was born.
Gonzales was booked in the Oklahoma County jail Monday but has since been released on $20,000 bail. She could not be reached for comment Wednesday.