The Chaves County Sheriff’s Office arrested Charity Calvert-Romero, 32, and Edward Romero, 63, around 1 p.m. on Friday. The couple are charged with abandonment or abuse of a child and obstructing of reporting or investigation of child abuse or neglect. “With great pleasure I can announce the arrest of the parents of the child we found on Monday…We believed this was a prosecutable case,” said Lt. Britt Snyder.
Sheriff’s deputies arrived at the West Hobson home around 7:45 p.m. Monday, following a report of a domestic disturbance. According to the [auth] affidavit of criminal complaint, when officials arrived at the scene, both parents were intoxicated and unable to stand.
Deputies saw a child crying through a window located on the southwest side of the house. The complaint states when they attempted to check on the 5-year-old girl, the mother blocked the door and had to be led away.
Sgt. Scott Ouilette entered the building and found the girl barricaded inside a room with a series of child gates that had been screwed into the wall.
“The caging was a big concern. She had no way to escape in case of fire, no way to get water or food, no way to escape the heat, and it was hotter inside the home than outside,” said Snyder.
The court records report that the temperature inside the residence was 105 degrees. The child’s room had no ventilation. Officials’ observations included “feces embedded (in the) carpet… cockroaches inside a child’s blanket….” In addition, another door leading to the west was nailed shut from the inside of the girl’s room, as was the closet door. A window was broken; it was covered with a board nailed up to the outside of the building.
The mother defended the use of barricades inside the house “because she was autistic and doesn’t understand danger.”
“We did not file any charges for the domestic violence. The woman said she fell down and, indeed, she fell down while we were there,” Snyder said.
The mother and father were taken to Chaves County Detention Center, each with a $500,000 cash or surety bond.