Cindy Patriarchias, a 33-year-old Albuquerque woman and her boyfriend, 37-year-old Edmond Gozales, were booked into jail Friday after they allegedly locked an 8-year-old disabled girl in a wooden cage while they took the rest of the family to see a movie.
According to police, Patriarchias and Gonzales reportedly left the girl in a handmade wooden cage to attend a movie with their three children and a local elementary school.
Investigators say Patriarchias is attempting to adopt the victim, who suffers from microcephaly. The three other children are the couple’s own biological children.
Investigators say Patriarchias’s estranged husband went to the school and called police after he discovered that he child was left alone.
When officers arrived at the couple’s residence, they waited for about an hour for Patriarchias and Gonzales to arrive. Once the couple returned home, officers entered the residence and found the victim locked in a cage that measured 4 feet by 2 1/2 feet.
One of the couple’s children told investigators that the victim routinely placed in the cage as punishment for misbehaving. Another child told investigators that he offered to stay with the girl while the family was gone, because the victim was alseep and wouldn’t know why the family was gone.
The victim was removed from the residence and placed into protective custody.
Patriarchias, who works as a lunch monitor at a local elementary school, was booked into jail and charged with negligently causing child abuse. She has also been terminated from her job, according to school officials.
Gonzales was also jailed on charges of negligently permitting child abuse. They are both being held in lieu of $25,000 cash-only bond each.