Monday, July 20, 2009

Couple accused of starving children, keeping them in motel bathroom

By SCOTT GOLDSTEIN / The Dallas Morning News / The Dallas Morning News
Matthew Waller contributed to this report.

DALLAS -- A Dallas couple is accused of keeping three of their children in a Love Field area motel bathroom and starving them, police said.

Alfred Santiago, 37, is also accused of raping one of the children repeatedly, according to police documents. The mother of the children, Abneris Santiago, 30, faces a charge of injury to a child.

According to police documents, Abneris Santiago called police to the Budget Suites in the 8100 block of North Stemmons Freeway, near Mockingbird Lane, on July 2. She told officers that she wanted to be escorted while she picked up her four children, ages 11, 10, 5 and 1.

The officers found the youngest child in a crib and the three others emaciated and in a bathroom. One of the children told police that Alfred Santiago beat them and deprived them of food, the documents said.

That child also told investigators that Alfred Santiago sexually assaulted her on multiple occasions, the documents said.

The children were evaluated at Children's Medical Center Dallas, where they were found to be severely malnourished.

Child Protective Services has taken the children into custody, police said.

Alfred Santiago was being held at the Dallas County Jail on sexual assault charges, and his bail was set at $125,000. Abneris Santiago was being held on the injury to a child charge.

Her bail was $50,000, according to jail records.

Staff writer Matthew Waller contributed to this report.

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