ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – An Albuquerque aunt and grandmother are behind bars, accused of child abuse, after a 3-year-old in their care nearly died.
It was last Friday when crews rushed to a home at Wyoming and Copper. A 3-year-old girl was unresponsive after being found face down in a bathtub, filled with ice cold water.
She was deemed profoundly hypothermic, with her body temperature 18-degrees below normal. According to court documents, paramedics had to work long after she arrived at the hospital to save her.
Investigators said it was a form of punishment gone wrong. They blame the toddler’s aunt and grandmother, Tiffany Desvigne, 18, and grandmother Adelle Rigsby.
Court documents said the cold bath punishment had been used before on both the 3-year-old and her younger brother. Those same documents said the Children, Youth and Families Department had visited the home in November.
“It did not revolve around an abuse allegation, nor was it in reference to the young children in the household,” said CYFD Cabinet Secretary Monique Jacobson.
Even though the visit was not about abuse, court documents mention the cold bath punishment was brought up during the visit, saying CYFD told the family it was not an appropriate form of punishment. CYFD tells KRQE News 13, they legally can’t go into details about the investigation but did emphasize how serious they take abuse.
“If we do have knowledge of a child being held under or water or held in freezing water, we will take action,” said Jacobson.
Albuquerque police said this was their first call to the address and they’ve never had any record of abuse before.
Doctors also reported a pattern of bruises on the girl. They said it’s consistent with being hit with a shoe repeatedly.
Both children are currently in CYFD custody.