A couple is Dallas is now in jail after a 6-year-old boy was found with his hands tied behind his back inside a shed located in the back of the property. According to authorities, police officers found the boy after they were called to the home for a health and welfare check at 11:30 at night.
When officers asked the boy’s grandmother, who was later identified as 53-year-old Esmeralda Lira, where the boy was, she told officers that he was with his mother. But when officers were able to walk back towards the back of the house, they found a man living in the back of the property who pointed them towards the shed.
That’s when officers forced the grandmother to open the shed, letting her know if they didn’t they would break down the door. When she opened the door, the police were able to find the boy inside. According to the grandmother, he was only in there for one time as punishment. But her boyfriend, 64-year-old Jose Baldera, stated that he had been in there for at least two weeks, and confinement in the shed was the child’s punishment since he was stealing food.
The boy told Dallas police officers the alleged abuse began after he “got out of school for this corona thing.” The bond for both Lira and Balderas is set at $100,000. The Department of Family and protective services removed the 6-year-old boy, his 4-year-old brother, and his 7-year-old sister from the home and placed them into foster care.
According to Sarah Burns at the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center, because teachers make many child abuse reports, student learning from home during the coronavirus endemic may be at greater risk. She stated, “Our concern has always been children being with their abusers all the time and having no safe adult to confide in or a safe adult that can report that abuse.
Luckily, according to the Advocacy Center, it has seen a 50% decrease in reports in the last six weeks, compared with the six weeks leading up to the COVID-19 pandemic.