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

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Katerin Celeste Torres Martinez, a Greenspoint-area mother, is accused of abandoning her five young children, one of whom has serious medical needs.

Torres Martinez, 25, was arrested on Wednesday and charged with abandoning a child with intent to return, and endangering a child, according to records.

Authorities say Torres Martinez left all five of her children home alone for several hours, including her 3-month-old, who has to wear a colostomy bag.

The apartment manager called the police after she and a maintenance worker observed the children home alone.

Officers arrived at about 3:30 p.m. to find the 18-month-old girl walking in the parking lot with no shoes. The 3 and 4-year-old boys were outside playing, the front door was open and the 8-year-old was inside with the baby, records say.

Authorities said there was expired milk in the fridge, rice and cereal in the pantry, and nothing else.

CPS told an officer on the scene that they had closed a case on the mother just this week about allegations that she was neglecting the baby's medical care and not taking him to doctors' appointments.

Torres Martinez told police she had only been gone eight to 10 minutes to buy milk. Police said they had been there for 30 minutes before they finally reached her on the phone and believe the kids were left alone for at least four hours.

The Houston Fire Department said the baby's colostomy bag was full and it looked like it had not been changed for a day.

Authorities said the kids were taken to Texas Children's Hospital for food and evaluations.

CPS took custody of all five children and they are now in foster care. A spokeswoman added that they do not have a public record to share regarding prior history.

Torres Martinez is due in probable cause court Thursday night. Prosecutors are asking for sufficient bail and that she not have contact with her children, as a condition of her bond.

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