ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) - The parents of the 5-year-old girl found caged in a filthy Roswell home were charged Friday with child abuse and failure to report child neglect.
KRQE News 13 also learned just how terrible the conditions in the home were.
Deputies say doctors examined the girl, and she is OK. However, the deplorable conditions she was living in were enough to make the arrests.
"We see a tremendous amount of child-abuse cases, and we don't find out about the cases until the child has died." said Lt. Britt Snyder of the Chaves County Sheriff's Department. "I think we were very fortunate to find this child when we did."
Deputies who went to the house said the girl was filthy, and her living conditions were even worse.
Investigators said her room was covered in feces, cockroaches, spiders and trash.
According to the criminal complaint she was completely trapped. One door leading out of the room was nailed shut and the other entryway was blocked by three stacked baby gates screwed into the wall.
The temperature in the house was more than 105 degrees, and there was no food or water available to the girl.
"It appears they were feeding the child by slipping plates under the bottom," Snyder continued. "They had left an opening or made an opening, almost like a prison door."
It wasn't just the girl's room that was disgusting. It was the entire house.
Deputies said they found rodent droppings, mold and dirty diapers throughout the home.
"I understand they took my daughter away because my house was dirty and that she was dirty," said the child's mom, Charity Calvert.
Calvert told KRQE News 13 she was only trying to protect her little girl and that she was a danger to herself.
"We actually had to cut a hole in the wall and put the TV inside because she would push it off the stand. We had to remove her bed from the room because she would take it apart and that will hurt her. That's dangerous," she said.
Snyder says it's up to the state Children, Youth and Families Department to decide what happens next.
"They can petition the court of the rights of the parents to ever get that child back, or they can work with the parents and try to teach them what was wrong with what they were doing," said Snyder.
Calvert told deputies that she bathed her daughter every two to three days but it was almost impossible to keep her clean because of her disability.
Deputies also revealed when they found the girl she was naked, locked in the room.
When deputies rescued her she ran and clung to them.
Calvert and Edward Romero are each being held on a $500,000 bond.
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