Children found in filth in Peoria apartment; parents arrested for child abuse

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by Steve Ryan

azfamily.com

Posted on August 8, 2012 at 7:42 AM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 8 at 8:00 AM

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Two young kids from Peoria are in the custody of Child Protective Services while their parents are in the custody of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, facing felony abuse charges.

Maribel Colmenero and Angel Ortiz were arrested Monday. 

It started when a neighbor noticed that their kids had been left unattended outside in the excessive heat for about an hour.  The property manager at the Sonoma Place Apartments called 911.

Peoria police officers arrived and knocked on the parents' door. They had to wait several minutes for an answer.  Investigators say that they immediately noticed a foul odor coming from the apartment and went inside. 

According to police, Colmenero and Ortiz said they had been napping and didn't realize their children had left the apartment.

Police tell 3TV that there were old food cartons, debris, alcohol bottles, medicine containers and filth everywhere.  To make matters worse, they say the children, ages 3 and 4, were covered in lice, bugs, had scabs on their arms and hadn't been bathed in several days.

"Both children were extremely dirty and smelled from more than 5 feet away," reads court paperwork.

Officers said the kids told them they were hungry and thirsty. There also was mention of abuse by their father.

Colmenero and Ortiz were booked for child abuse with criminal negligence.  If convicted, they could be sentenced to about a decade in state prison.

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