A spokesperson for the Jasper County Sheriff's Office told 12News that deputies are working to find out why a baby was left alone inside a home located on County Road 421 in Kirbyville.
Sheriff Mitchel Newman said that on Saturday morning dispatchers received a call about a baby being left inside a home alone. Lt. Kenneth Stanley and Kirbyville Police Officer Hancock went to the house. They said no one would come to the door, so they walked around the home looking in windows. They said they saw a 22-month-old baby girl inside a bedroom.
Lt. Stanley opened the front door to the home which was not locked and walked to the room were the baby was. He said he noticed the door was locked from the outside with a hasp.
Lt. Stanley said the baby was dirty and the little dress she had on was soaked in urine. Lt. Stanley changed the babies cloths.
Captain. Bob Walker was called to the residence to conduct a criminal investigation. He said there was a baby mattress on the floor of the small 8 X 10 room where the child found. It had no sheets or blankets. He said the room was extremely hot and there were red wasps flying around inside the room. They said there were roaches crawling on the floor.
Sheriff Newman said they also found traces of marijuana and methamphetamine in the home.
The baby was taken to a Beaumont hospital where she was examined, treated and released to the custody of child protective services.
Around five hours later the mother, identified as Kristi Browning, 19, arrived at the house. She was arrested on a charge of child endangerment and abandonment. The charge is a second-degree felony punishable up to 20 years in prison.
Pct. 2 Justice of the Peace Judge Miller issued arrest warrant for Browning's boyfriend, Donald Torres, 37, who also lives at the home where the child was found.
Both were arraigned by Judge Miller and bond on each was set at $50,000.00.
Sheriff' Newman said it is important for people to come forward when they know of a child in danger.
"If you don't cry out, the child can't cry out, you may be the child's only opportunity," said Sheriff Newman.
A deputy told 12News the child was extremely thirsty. Deputies gave the child five glasses of juice, all of which she drank. The deputy said the child did not acknowledge her mother when she arrived at the house, but held on to the officers.
Shari Pulliam with the Department of Family Protective Services says the agency has taken custody of the child. Pulliam said the little girl has been examined by medical staff and is doing fine physically. She said the child will be placed in foster care.
A spokesperson for the Kirbyville Police Department said the couple has been under investigation for the past two months amid reports of leaving the child alone. The spokesperson said that each time they responded to the house the couple had beaten them to home.
Kirbyville Police Officer Hancock told 12News the couple seemed more concerned about going to jail because of the drugs found at the house than they were for the well being of the child.