COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4/AP) — A Colorado Springs girl has been hospitalized with what police say is a serious bodily injury, and her mother and great aunt are in jail.
The child’s mother, Samantha Salaz, 19, and the mother’s aunt, Mary Horsley, 50, were being held Friday on suspicion of attempted murder and felony child abuse. Bond was set at $500,000 each. It wasn’t known if they had lawyers who could comment on their behalf.
Police went to the girl’s home Thursday on a report of a toddler who wasn’t breathing. Police said the women told them the toddler nearly drowned in a toilet.
According to an arrest affidavit, Samantha Salaz allegedly told police she had seen Horsley in the bathroom with her daughter, who was bound by tape and being sprayed by water as a punishment. But Samantha Salaz did nothing to stop it. The toddler was apparently left in the bathroom with the water running while both women were taking naps.
“My heart just fell down to my feet when I found out,” said Richard Salaz, the toddler’s grandfather. “If they didn’t want to take care of the baby they didn’t have to abuse her … they could have brought her to me.”
Samantha Salaz and a 7-year-old boy who was also in the house gave police different stories about who found the toddler unconscious and not breathing.
Richard Salaz says he saw the signs of possible abuse.
“The baby at that time had some bruises on her and I had asked how the baby had gotten them and her and my sister had gotten real irate and just picked up and left,” he said.
He worries about what may have been behind the abuse.
“I hate to say yes, but I think the way that they are, I think they were involved with drugs and may have altered their minds.”
Two other children were also staying in that home. They have been moved to foster care.
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