SAN JUAN COUNTY, N.M. (KRQE) – A San Juan County couple is facing child abuse charges after CYFD responded to their house in September. They received reports that two children were being locked in a closet and when deputies arrived at the home, they met a severely malnourished 16-year-old.
“There’s supposed to be a lock on the outside of the bedroom where they lock them and then there’s a lock on the closet,” says a CYFD worker in a recently released lapel video. “They lock the boy into a closet at night.”
San Juan County deputies arrived at the house in Flora Vista between Aztec and Farmington. They’re responding to reports of two kids being mistreated.
“So this is just a welfare check,” says a deputy. “We got an anonymous report and I just want to check on everybody. Make sure everybody is okay there.”
“Oh yeah, we’re fine. We’re with all our kids right now,” says Alexis Alonzo from a doorbell camera. She tells deputies they’ll be home shortly.
About 30 minutes later, Alonzo and her husband Lindbergh return home with two young children and let authorities inside. Deputies discover a 12 and 16-year-old were in the home the whole time.
Alonzo quickly tells authorities their 16-year-old son has an eating disorder. “So we’re working on him,” says Alexis. “The doctor knows. Don’t think that we’re hiding anything. So, we also give him protein shakes [and] have them all in the fridge.”
Deputies and a CYFD worker walk around the house and say they noticed a camera in the closet and holes in the door they believe were left from a lock that was removed before they entered. They then spoke with the 16-year-old boy and his 12-year-old sister outside.
“I feel like you have more you want to say. I can see that in your eyes. We just want to make sure you guys are safe. Make sure that you have everything you need, plenty of food,” says the CYFD worker.
San Juan County deputies discuss how malnourished the 16-year-old boy looks.
Deputy: That’s not diet change. That’s not boys growing up.
CYFD: No, something is going on here.
A medical exam later revealed, at five-foot-one-inch tall, the boy weighed just 79 pounds.
Deputy: ..And when I asked about the closet, they’re like, “no!”
CYFD: Dad didn’t want me in the closet and I was like, ‘oh, let me look in here,’ and then I saw the camera up there?? I also saw a hole on the door going into the bedroom there had been a lock.
The CYFD worker says both kids’ answers sounded rehearsed and determined it was time to take them out of the house. “They’re protecting. They’re scared. I don’t feel like I should interview them any further,” says the worker. “I think we need a safehouse interview.”
Days later, the teenage boy opens up to authorities, saying he and his sister were locked into the closet and given a sandwich a day for food. Lindbergh and Alexis Alonzo have a preliminary hearing next month.
The couple had charges added earlier this month for bribery of a witness. Deputies say they threatened the teenage boy to not say anything.