Albuquerque-Metro

Bystanders call for welfare check on starving kids, APD doesn't respond

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) - An Albuquerque woman said she's frustrated with the lack of response from police after she reported two malnourished-looking children, walking in the heat with no shoes. 

The woman has asked to remain anonymous because of her job, but she said off camera she was headed to work near I-25 and Montano  when she saw a mother and two children under the age of 10 walking from the Shell gas station barefoot. 

She said she followed the family for half a mile to a nearby motel. 

"I asked the mom if I could get the kids some shoes just because it was so hot outside. The little boy was actually jumping up and down from the pavement burning his feet. Their feet were black," she said. 

The woman said the mother was jumpy and had bruises on her arms and legs. She said the kids looked like they were starving. 

At one point, one child ran out of the motel room naked. She said after she bought them shoes and food, she called APD and asked them to come do a welfare check.

She said dispatch told her because the kids didn't appear to be in immediate danger and there weren't any signs of abuse, it would take at least 24 hours for an officer to respond. 

"Just because I didn't see anything doesn't mean that it wasn't there or it wasn't present. I might be the only voice of reason for them. This might be the lifestyle they are used to, that they've grown up with, they might not know any better," the woman said. 

The woman said she didn't hear back from police until five hours later. They left her a message apologizing for not getting an officer to the hotel.

In the message, they said an officer would be out when one was available. That was Wednesday night at 5 p.m., five hours after the initial call.

The woman said she hadn't heard from police since and didn't see them ever respond Thursday. 

KRQE News 13 reached out to APD about the welfare check, but did not hear back.


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