ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – An Albuquerque aunt and grandmother are behind bars, accused of abusing the children in their care.
It was last Friday when crews rushed to a home at Wyoming and Copper. A three-year-old girl was unresponsive after being found face down in a bathtub. But investigators say this wasn’t an accident. Instead, they say it was a form of punishment gone wrong. According to a criminal complaint, at the hands of their aunt and grandmother, Tiffany Desvigne, 18, and her mother Adelle Rigsby. Neighbors couldn’t believe the accusations.
“We heard about it and felt really disappointed and kind of disgusted,” said a woman who didn’t want to be identified.
“I was shocked. I don’t know what really happened,” said a man who didn’t want to be identified.
When the girl got the hospital, she was diagnosed as suffering from profound hypothermia, as the result of prolonged and forced immersion in cold water. Doctors found her temperature had dropped to about 80 degrees, approximately 18 degrees below normal body temperature.
“I think it’s sad to find out that they found this little girl face down. I wish I would’ve known something about it, because I would’ve stepped in,” said neighbor Roberta Morales.
Investigators found other signs of abuse too, bruises indicating the child had been beaten with a shoe and court documents say this wasn’t the first time she and her brother were abused. The cold bath punishment had been used before, on both children.
In court Saturday morning the women faced a long list of charges.
“You are charged with child abuse, resulting in great bodily harm, involving a child who is tortured or cruelly punished. Child abuse, not involving great bodily harm, false imprisonment, tampering with evidence, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and conspiracy to commit those five counts,” said the judge.
Looking back, neighbors say they didn’t see the signs.
“As parents you never want to hear anything like that and we really hope it’s not as severe as they’re saying. We definitely hope that everything is well with the kids.”
Both women were held on $25,000 cash only bonds. It’s unclear who is now taking care of the children.
According to the criminal complaint, the women had been investigated before. Back in November CYFD recommended against using that discipline technique.