Esmeralda Lira, Dallas, Texas grandmother & boyfriend, Jose Balderas tie 6 year old in shed 2 weeks after boy steals food. Booked on child endangerment.
A Texas grandmother and her live-in-lover allegedly tied up her grandson, and held him captive for weeks in a backyard shed — ever since his school closed because of the coronavirus pandemic, a report said.
Police investigating a tip about three children tied up at a house with no food, arrived at the Dallas property just on 11pm, and questioned the home’s owner, Esmeralda Lira, 53, about the children’s whereabouts KTVT reports.
Two children were discovered in the front of the house while a 3rd child remained unaccounted. The grandmother told authorities that the 6 year old boy was with his mother.
A man living on the property in turn directed authorities to a padlocked shed in the backyard where the unaccounted 6 year old boy was discovered confined, with his hands tied behind his back in a dark room wfaa reports.
Upon being questioned the child told authorities that he had been sleeping in the shed ever since he ‘got out of school for this corona thing.’
Lira claimed it was the first time that the boy had been left in the shed, while her live-in boyfriend, 64-year-old Jose Balderas, acknowledged the child had been punished for about two weeks for stealing food.
The boy had been locked in the shed ‘for an extended period of time with no food or water,’ according to court affidavits.
Ongoing child abuse
The boy told investigators that it was not the first time he had been locked in the shed. He was regularly locked inside the shed at night and when Lira would leave the house, the warrants say.
Lira would also allegedly tie up his wrists and tell him “he is bad,” as well as kick him and grab him by the ears, according to the affidavits.
The boy told investigators he was not allowed to go in the house and was given a plastic bag to use when he needed to go to the bathroom.
Lira and Balderas who have been in a dating relationship for 9 years were arrested on felony charges for endangering a child.
While acknowledging what Lira was doing, Balderas said While he ‘did not want to be a part of the situation,’ the warrants state.
Lira and Balderas have both been booked into the Dallas County jail. Bail has been set at $100,000 for both people, but they each have immigration holds. Balderas also has three outstanding warrants against him from Dallas police.
The Department of Family and Protective Services removed the 6-year-old boy, his 7-year-old sister and 4-year-old brother from the home and placed them into foster care, the outlet reported.
‘We all should be looking out for the children in our community, especially now that they’re not in school,’ Marissa Gonzales of DFPS told the outlet.
The children’s parents whereabouts remained unclear.