REEVES COUNTY, Texas (KMID/KPEJ)- The Reeves County Sheriff’s Office is investigating after a young child was found locked in a dog kennel in “unlivable” conditions last month.
According to a news release, on September 9, RCSO deputies conducted a welfare check at an RV located at Franco’s RV Park at the request of Child Protective Services. At the scene, deputies met with Arizona Rooney, 43, her boyfriend, 23-year-old Jacob Cantrell, as well as with Arizona’s mom and next-door neighbor, 76-year-old Brandy Rooney. When deputies entered the RV, they reportedly found a 6-year-old girl locked inside a dog kennel.
Investigators described the scene and living conditions of the 6-year-old child as “unlivable”. Deputies said the area of the home where the child was found was 94 degrees and smelled “foul” as the kennel was covered in human feces and urine. The child was reportedly “zip-tied” in the kennel, found partitioned off from air-conditioning, and a bowl found inside the space was empty of food and water.
The little girl was taken to a local hospital for evaluation and was found to be dehydrated; however, medical staff said they did not find any other signs of physical or sexual abuse. Once stabilized, the child was taken into CPS custody.
RCSO said the six-year-old was later evaluated by CPS experts and found to be non-verbal, “possibly from years of neglect”. Because of the suspected continued neglect, investigators are working with other law enforcement agencies from other states where CPS also investigated the family.
Both Arizona and Cantrell have been charged with Injury to a Child, Abandoning/Endangering a Child, and Unlawful Restraint and are both facing a combined $250,000 bond. Brandy was later charged with Injury to a Child with Criminal Neglect and was released from custody on a $20,000 bond.