Women Involved In Starving Boy Case Turn Themselves In To Policehttp://www.kristv.com/global/story.asp?s=10079073&ClientType=Printable
Updated: March 26, 2009 07:58 PM
CORPUS CHRISTI - There are three women that are accused of nearly starving to death 3-and-a-half-year-old Isaac Villarreal.
The women turned themselves earlier Thursday after arrest warrants were issued on them.
Isaac's mother, Alma Linda Villarreal, her girlfriend Vanessa Zuniga and Maria Yolanda Zuniga have all been charged with injury to a child.
Isaac was taken to the hospital in late February after his mother said she found him unconscious.
Doctors said he weighed only 23 pounds at the time and was suffering from chronic starvation.
KRIS 6 News obtained court documents in which Isaac describes the abuse he endured. When Isaac was taken to Driscoll Children's Hospital on February 27 he looked was 23 pounds of skin and bone.
23 pounds is the average weight of a one-year-old, not a 3 and a half year old boy.
"At first, he wasn't able to speak so when he was able, he did speak to Child Protective Services," CCPD Lt. Schauer said.
The affidavit revealed a conversation between Forensic Child Interviewer Ricardo Jimenez and Isaac.
"Isaac was then asked what he does at his home and he said, "play outside," Jimenez said.
Jimenez asked Isaac what he does outside and Isaac said, "lay down."
The interview goes on to say that when he gets in trouble, his mother, Alma, hits him with a belt to the point of leaving visible marks and bruises.
"It's been determined that he's not been given meals and that could have been as a punishment for say wetting the bed or something like that," Jimenez said.
The documents also show the role of his mother's girlfriend, Vanessa.
Jimenez asked if Vanessa was nice, mean or something else and Isaac said, "mean."
The he asked why Vanessa is mean and he responded, "she hits me."
Isaac is referring to events that investigators say happened at the home on Tanglewood where he lived with his mother Alma, Vanessa, Vanessa's mother Maria Yolanda Zuniga and Isaac's three sisters.
At the end of the interview, Jimenez asked Isaac if Vanessa is mean to anyone else and he shook his head indicating "no".
"I've been here 23 years and I haven't ever seen a case like this," Jimenez said.
It is a case one medical expert described as child torture.
On a positive note, Isaac has gained 10 pounds while he was in the hospital. He's also been released from the hospital and has been placed in foster care.
His three sisters are also all together, but they've been placed with a different foster family.
CPS and police investigators are still trying to determine who Isaac's father is.
To aid with that ,a judge has ordered DNA testing for Isaac and his one-year-old sister Vanessa.
Two men, who could possibly be Isaac's father, have been identified and they'll also be tested.
As for the accused women, they're all charged with injury to a child and their bonds have been set at $150,000 each.
Online Reporter: Jennifer Bordelon email@example.com