Mom accused of starving 3-year-old and tying him in his crib

Arlene Alaniz, 28, is charged with injury to a child

November 9, 2011 6:18:23 PM PST
A mother is facing charges, accused of doing more than just starving her three-year-old son. Neighbors say this case just hurts their hearts, to hear of a three-year-old boy who couldn't defend himself, allegedly abused by his own mother.

Arlene Alaniz, 28, is charged with injury to a child. The victim is her three-year-old special needs son. According to investigators that boy stopped breathing and went into cardiac arrest at his west Houston apartment on October 2. He was taken to Texas Children's Hospital where doctors found him to be severely malnourished, with cuts and bruises across his body. Court documents indicate that boy was three years old and just 26 pounds.

"He was 26 pounds and three years old," said neighbor Pablo Tirado. "That's pretty messed up."

Tirado is blind but lives right across the breezeway. He says he knew an older boy lived at the apartment but not a younger one and says his wife never saw another boy either.

"It's shocking," he said. "It's just shocking. We didn't even know there was a second child, you know."

According to investigators that boy's older brother, who is just four, told them that their mother, Arlene Alaniz, tied "...the younger boy to the bed with a rope."

The boy told police she did that to keep the little one from escaping his crib. What's more, authorities tell us the three-year-old is a special needs child, that he required a feeding tube and that Alaniz told them the " fell out a few days prior and she used tape to keep it in place..."

Court documents indicate Alaniz told investigators she was depressed and had been talking sleeping pills every night. The three-year-old was in critical condition but is now out of the hospital. CPS has taken custody of both boys.

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