Mother arrested in connection with the death of her child

Mother arrested in connection with the death of her child

ODESSA, TX (KWES) - A tragic situation for a family of children in Odessa after a woman was arrested Thursday morning in connection with the death of her child.

Michelle Valdez, also known as Michelle Levario, 34, was charged with one count of injury to a child and six counts of endangering a child.

Back on Jan. 25, 9-year-old Yram Levario was taken to a Lubbock hospital and he was later diagnosed with Hirschsprung's Disease.

According to the Mayo Clinic online, Hirschsprung's Disease affects the colon and causes problems with passing stool.

Police say Yram told medical staff he had not passed stool in four weeks.

A few days later, police learned that Yram died.

Police say Valdez failed to provide her son with the medical attention he needed.

According to the report, a search warrant was executed on Michelle Valdez's house as an investigation revealed that Valdez failed to provide proper medical care to her son.

Police said that Valdez had two biological sons and was fostering four additional children. Neighbors say these children were Valdez's brother's kids.

Authorities reported that Valdez's home hadn't been cleaned in a while and the home had a live gas pipe sticking out of the floor that was covered by a beer koosie.

The report stated mice droppings were found inside one the children's bedroom's, black mold and dirt was seen on the shower walls and all electrical outlets were exposed.

In addition, the home's water heater had exposed wiring and there was raw sewage on the side of the home that was coming from the bathroom toilet.

A neighbor who claims to have known Valdez the last four years says there may have been other factors that led up to this situation.

"She always had issues with her husband. There has been a lot of domestic abuse and drug use. This happening doesn't surprise me at all," said a neighbor.

Neighbors say they would see the children outside very often and many times they were not dressed appropriately for the climate.

"They were always outside unattended. I know when she would go to work they would pretty much take care of each other," said a neighbor.

The children are now under the care of CPS.

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