Child Endangerment Cases Increasing - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: |

Child Endangerment Cases Increasing

By: Alexa Williams
NewsWest 9

Eric Dewane Wallace and Crystal Faye Osborn were both charged with child endangerment in two separate cases, just one day a part.

Odessa Police arrested Osborn after her 12-year-old and 8-year-old were left home alone while she allegedly went out with friends. The kids told police their mother had not been home since the night before. The 8-year-old told his father that Osborn had a plate with cocaine on it in her bedroom closet. After police searched the house, they found cocaine residue in different spots and some marijuana. Osborn was charged with two counts of abandonment and endangerment to a child. The children are now with their father.

Kathy Harmon, Marketing Specialist with CASA West Texas, said it is very important for people to speak up if they believe a child is in a dangerous situation. 

"Sometimes if you think it's not even a huge deal. Each time a report is received, it will increase the likelihood that the child will be recognized as being abused," Harmon said.

Wallace's case doesn't get much better. It all started when a child climbed out of a window covered in chocolate sauce. Neighbors who were barbecuing heard the child crying and after failed attempts of trying to get a hold of adults inside, they called police. When police arrived, they were able to talk to Wallace and another adult. According to the arrest report, both of the adults seemed drunk. Officials discovered a messy house with toys, old food, alcohol and marijuana. Wallace was charged with child endangerment and could face up to two years behind bars.

"Any time a child is not being taken care of or their safety is as risk that would be considered neglect," Harmon said.

According to the Midland Police Department, the number of child abuse and endangerment calls are on the rise. In 2012, there were 63 confirmed cases. In 2013, there were 57, and this year, as of September, there have already been 51 cases. 

"Children deserve the right to be safe in their homes," Harmon said.

If you think a child is being abused, call 1-800-252-5400 to get them some help.

Powered by Frankly