Video obtained from outside of a home in Nevada shows a teenager who escaped from what police said was a locked bedroom where she had been confined for over a year. During that time, she was also given little food and only a bucket in which to relieve herself, officials said.
Investigators with KTLA’s sister station KLAS reported earlier this week that three adults have been accused of locking the 18-year-old girl in the room: Addy Gonzales, whom police identified as the teenager’s mother; Maria Pasarin, whom police identified as the teenager’s grandmother; and Daniel Omezcua.
Each suspect faces charges of child abuse and false imprisonment.
Police said they were called to the North Las Vegas home on Nov. 4 for a report of a teenager who was “trying to use a ladder” to climb back into the room. The girl was returning after climbing out, going into the neighbor’s yard, and asking for food and water, police said.
The video obtained by KLAS shows her re-entering the second-floor bedroom.
A woman who asked only to be identified as Maria told KLAS that she lives in the house next to the teenager.
“The girl got out and jumped over to our backyard seeking water,” Maria said. “When we saw her, she said she had climbed down using sheets but she was heading back up.”
A neighbor told KLAS that the teenager was drinking water from her hose before she crawled back over the concrete wall. When the neighbor asked if she needed help, she pointed to a ladder in the yard, which would help her climb back up to her bedroom window.
The girl told the neighbor she was able to escape from her room by tying clothes together and climbing out of the second-floor window, police said.
Upon arrival, police found the teenager at the window of the second-floor bedroom, officers said.
Police said the teenager explained that she had been “locked in the room where she was currently in,” and they observed that the room “did not have a knob, but only had a deadbolt lock which required a key for both sides to unlock, which she did not have.”
The girl told police she had escaped to get some water from her neighbor’s spigot. She said she only receives food when her mother, identified as Gonzales, returns home from work.
Gonzales would not let officers into the house initially, saying she would check on her daughter upstairs, police said.
“Overall it’s very heartbreaking because I told her to call the police and she refused, saying no one would believe her,” Maria said.
Inside the room, police said they saw “only a box spring and bed frame.” A black bucket in the room was also “half full of what appeared to be urine and fecal matter,” police said.
Officers booked Gonzales, Omezcua and Pasarin into the North Las Vegas Community Correctional Center. Each was released on their own personal recognizance as prosecutors had not filed a criminal complaint as of Tuesday, records showed.
Gonzales, Omezcua and Pasarin were expected in court again Monday.
KLAS has since learned that the Department of Child Protective Services received eight previous reports of allegations of abuse and neglect at the home. However, the agency deemed the reports unsubstantiated, citing a lack of cooperation or evidence.
“That day officers took the teenager from the home … I remember her telling them she was very thirsty as she was being placed inside the patrol unit,” Maria said.
A Clark County spokesperson released a statement to KLAS, calling the situation “tragic.”
“This is a tragic event and while Clark County cannot comment on the specifics because of confidentiality and ongoing investigations, we are ensuring that, moving forward, all the support that is needed is available and will be provided.”