A heart-wrenching video emerged of an 18-year-old North Las Vegas girl “trying to use a ladder to climb” back into the room in which she has allegedly been locked by family members for at least a year, with nothing but a bucket to use as a toilet.
The abused teenager had apparently escaped her room in order to find food and get a drink from a neighbor’s garden tap, according to local station 8 News Now.
A woman identified only as Maria said she lives next door to the teen and saw her climbing down from her window.
“The girl got out and jumped over to our backyard seeking water,” she said. “When we saw her she said she had climbed down using sheets but she was heading back up.”
Another neighbor said the girl drank water from her hose and then crawled back over the concrete wall and headed back toward her room-turned-cell.
The girl stated that she had tied clothes together and used the makeshift rope to climb down from her second-floor bedroom, police confirmed.
When the neighbor asked if the girl needed help, she simply pointed to her ladder.
According to officers, the young victim said that “she was locked in the room where she was currently in.”
The room, she said, “did not have a knob, but only had a deadbolt lock which required a key for both sides to unlock, which she did not have,” the police reported.
She went on to explain that she escaped to get some water because she is only given food when her mother, identified as Addy Gonzales, returns home from work.
When police when to the home, Gonzales initially refused to let them in, claiming she would check on her daughter, who was upstairs.
“Overall it’s very heartbreaking because I told her to call the police and she refused, saying no one would believe her,” Maria said.
Once inside the girl’s bedroom, police say they found “only a box spring and bed frame” and a black bucket “half full of what appeared to be urine and fecal matter.”
Gonzales; Maria Pasarin, identified as the girl’s grandmother; and Daniel Omezcua were booked into the North Las Vegas Community Correctional Center on charges of false imprisonment and child abuse and were promptly released on their own recognizance as prosecutors had, as of Tuesday when 8 News Now first reported on the sickening story, not yet filed a complaint.
Gonzales, it turns out, was employed in Clark County’s schools as a “family learning advocate,” the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports. She has since been placed on “unpaid leave” by the school district.
The sadistic trio is due back in court on Monday. Omezcua’s relation to the girl and her family remains unclear.
And in an all-too-familiar, gut-churning twist, the outlet reports that the Department of Child Protective Services had received no fewer than eight previous reports alleging abuse and neglect at the home, but, citing a lack of cooperation or evidence, chose to dismiss them as unsubstantiated.
“This is a tragic event,” a Clark County spokesperson said in a statement on Thursday, “and while Clark County cannot comment on the specifics because of confidentiality and ongoing investigations, we are ensuring that, moving forward, all the support that is needed is available and will be provided.”
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