Three children were kept in a hotel bathroom for about a year and were “horribly emaciated” when police found them earlier this month, authorities said. One claimed to have been repeatedly sexually assaulted.
The children’s mother, 30-year-old Abneris Santiago, is charged with injury to a child. Her 37-year-old live-in boyfriend, Alfred Santiago, is charged with aggravated sexual assault and continuous sexual abuse.
The extended stay hotel where the Santiagos lived sits alongside one of Dallas’ busiest freeways. It has daily and weekly rates and offers maid service for an extra cost, though it wasn’t clear if hotel employees had entered the unit where the children were found.
An attorney for the hotel chain said that there were no complaints from other guests and employees about the unit.
“When law enforcement and management arrived ... the unit was very, very clean,” said Steven Stefani, senior counsel for a Budget Suites of America. “What became apparent is these people worked very hard in concealing these children in the back bathroom.”
The Santiagos remained jailed on Wednesday. Abneris Santiago was being held on USD 50,000 bail, while Alfred Santiago was being held on USD 125,000 bail. Her initial court appearance is not expected until August 3, said her attorney, James Jamison.
His attorney, Richard Carrizales, declined to comment.