Women Letting Children Sleep Alongside Bugs, Cat Feces Behind Ba - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Women Letting Children Sleep Alongside Bugs, Cat Feces Behind Bars

Anum Valliani

NewsWest 9

ODESSA - It all started when Odessa police responded to Medical Center Hospital about possible abuse to a baby.

Medical workers said an 8-month-old boy was in the ER after bug bites all over his body lead to scabies and a high fever. So OPD went to the mother's house on the 800 block of West 25th street.

When the police searched the home, they found two other children, a 9-year-old girl and a 6-year-old boy were sleeping on top of insects of all sorts, surrounded by cat poop, and their skin was also covered in bug bites.  

The caretakers, the children's grandmother, 56-year-old Bobbie Joe Knight, and their mother, 27-year-old Joanna Hernandez have been taken into custody.

Neighbors tell us they suspected something was up based on how the family was always cooped up inside.

Emilio Valenguela, who's a neighbor said they hardly got to see the kids either, they were always locked up inside the house. He claims that he would however see some of the children walking to school alone every morning.

Other rare times they would be out there, he said it was an unusual sight.

"Sometimes they'd be out there barefooted or just in pampers or underwear, that's pretty much it," Valenguela said.

Plus every now and then they would see litters of cats in front of the house. "Like twenty cats coming in and out of the house. They would keep the windows open so the cats would come in," he described.

Now Valenguela is just relieved something is being done.

"It's a bad way of raising any kid. It's sad and I'm happy too that the kids got safe from that environment," he said.

"These types of conditions are disturbing. If anybody is aware of any other children living in or experiencing these types of circumstances, we'd urge them to notify the police immediately," OPD's Public Information Officer, Corp. Steve LeSueur said.

Knight and Hernandez each have three counts of child endangerment under them. They're being detained at the Ector County jail for the felony, and could be facing up to 6 years. 

We're told CPS did arrive on scene to remove the kids but it's unknown where they are now.  

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