Houston mom accused of starving boys, locking them in closet

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The woman is accused of withholding food from her two young sons and abusing them.

A Houston mother is facing multiple charges on allegations of child abuse, and authorities described her 10-year-old son as being so malnourished that he looked "like a prisoner of war who had been starved."

Sandra Anna Gonzalez was charged a few days ago. Her first court appearance was Monday. Eyewitness News went looking for Gonzalez. She wasn't in her apartment, and was apparently hiding in her car. When we approached her car to ask her about these allegations, she sped off.

The entire case came to light last fall, when an employee at Beneke Elementary School reported a boy with multiple visible injuries was sitting on the curb outside the school, and said he didn't want to go home because his mother was abusing him, according to court documents. The employee immediately called the police.

The boy, who was then 10 years old, told Sergeant E. Gonzales with the Precinct 4 Constables Office that his mother, Gonzalez, was abusing him by "wiping her feet on his and his brother's knees and shooting him with a BB gun." Sgt. Gonzales said when the boy took off his shirt, he could see more bruising and abrasions, as well as the boy's spine and ribs, and the child appeared to be severely malnourished.

A deputy interviewed Gonzalez at the family's home, where she lived with her boyfriend and six children. The deputy identified a 12-year-old boy with similar injuries and possible malnourishment, but other children in the home appeared to be in good health.

While the brothers were receiving treatment at Texas Children's Hospital, they told authorities they were only allowed one bologna sandwich a day and spent their time locked in the laundry room, while the other siblings ate as much food as they wanted. The 10-year-old said their mother would punish them by shooting them with a pellet gun, and allowing their other brothers and sisters to do the same. He recounted an example of his mother slamming his brother's head into the wall for eating food, and said she later painted her room to cover the blood spots. The boys also say they were forced to kneel on 'seeds' all day as a punishment for stealing food.

The older brother told authorities that when he moved in with his mother he had been unaware that his mother had been locking his younger brother in the laundry room closet for the past two years.

Records obtained by Eyewitness News show Gonzalez has had a long history with CPS. Some cases date back more than a decade, to 2004, when she lost custody of two kids to her husband. In 2006, she lost custody of four other children to their aunt, but got them back in 2009.

Gonzalez's current boyfriend spoke to Eyewitness News off camera Monday. He said he had nothing to do with the other children. However, he does admit that he has a newborn with Gonzalez, and that child is also currently in foster care with the other four children.

Gonzalez, 35, is charged with two counts of injury to a child. She is currently out on bond.
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mother chargedchild abusesiblingsHouston
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