Judge sets $50K bond for mother accused of leaving 5 children home alone without food for hours

Courtney Carpenter Image
Friday, April 22, 2022
Judge sets $50K bond for mom accused of abandoning 5 children
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Authorities said it looked like her baby's colostomy bag was full and had not been changed for a day. The children range in ages from 8 years old to 3 months.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A judge set a $50,000 bond for a mother accused of leaving her five young children home alone in the Greenspoint area for several hours. One of the children, a three-month-old boy, has serious medical needs.

Katerin Torres Martinez, 25, first appeared in probable cause court overnight. She's charged with abandoning a child with intent to return and endangering a child.

Her bond was set at $25,000 for the abandoning charge and $25,000 for the endangering charge, bringing the total to $50,000.

ORIGINAL REPORT: Houston mom left her 5 children home alone without food for hours, authorities say

The apartment manager at the complex where they live on Greens Road called police on Wednesday after she and a maintenance worker observed the children home alone.

Officers arrived at about 3:30 p.m. Officials detailed what they discovered in the court appearance.

"The facts alleging that the 1-year-old child was in the parking lot barefoot, the 3- and 4-year-olds were also playing outside, unattended, and there was an 8-year-old allegedly left at home to look after the 3-month-old who has a colostomy bag," an official said in court.

Authorities said it looked like the baby's colostomy bag was full and had not been changed for a day. Documents noted that the baby was also swaddled, which they say could have led to suffocation if he had rolled over.

Officials said there was expired milk in the fridge and rice and cereal in the pantry, but nothing else prepared for the children.

CPS told an officer at the scene that they had closed a case three days before for the mother neglecting the medical care of the baby and not taking him to doctors' appointments.

Torres Martinez told police she had only been gone about ten minutes -- to get some milk. Police said they had been there for 30 minutes before they finally reached her on the phone and believe she was gone for at least four hours.

The children were taken to Texas Children's Hospital for food and evaluations and are now in CPS custody.