Child, 3, found unresponsive and dehydrated under truck

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by azfamily.com

Video report by Kristine Harrington

Posted on June 4, 2014 at 2:01 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 4 at 6:05 PM

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GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Police arrested a woman who was caring for her 3-year-old nephew who was found unresponsive and dehydrated under a truck.

It happened Sunday evening at a mobile home park at 58th and Maryland Avenues. Police said the child's mother, 25-year-old Stephanie Lynn Ross, was at work.

Ross' sister, 31-year-old Sarah Rochelle Nunley, was supposed to be taking care of the child. She was also watching her own child and Ross' other five children, with help from the children's grandmother.

Nunley is facing charges of child abuse, possession of drug paraphernalia and false reporting.

Ross is facing charges of child abuse and neglect.

Police found Nunley in a mobile home several spaces from where the child was located. Nunley lives in that home with two other adults and seven children, according to court documents.

As police questioned Nunley about the dehydrated child she told them she did not have any children of her own.

Police later questioned a child who was seen with Nunley. That child said Nunley was her mother. Nunley then admitted to police she lied because she didn't want Child Protective Services to take custody of the children.

Court records state that the home was "dirty and lacking food." All seven of the children, ages 1 to 11, sleep on the cluttered living room floor where there were several knives.

"There was minimal food in the residence. It was very unsanitary. It just was not an appropriate place. They were not being properly cared for," Glendale police spokeswoman Officer Tracey Breeden said.

Police said the all of the children were located throughout the mobile home park without shoes and requesting water.

Police found a glass pipe in the residence. Nunley said she used it to smoke methamphetamine.

Child Protective Services took custody of all seven children.

"I think I'm to blame for what happened. I do," said Diane Nunley, the children's grandmother.

She said she was helping baby-sit the children, and the 3-year-old boy took off.

"I went after him twice and I brought him back home, but he snuck out the back door here," she said. "He ran up this way, so I came back home and I started resting. I have to rest."

Diane Nunley said she thinks her grandson fell asleep under the truck.

"The child had a pulse but the child was unresponsive," Breeden said. "They couldn't determine how long he had been out there but he was out there long enough to almost die."

Glendale police and CPS are still investigating.

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