SAPD: 5 children left alone in roach-infested apartment

Neighbor told police Robyn Gonzales, 22, was gone for hours

Author: Katrina Webber, Reporter,
Published On: Jan 30 2013 05:59:46 PM CST   Updated On: Jan 30 2013 12:30:31 PM CST
Robyn Gonzales

Robyn Gonzales, 22, is accused of leaving her five young children home alone in a West Side apartment that San Antonio police said was roach-infested and had rotten food in the refrigerator.

Officers answered a call about a disturbance around 9 p.m. Monday at Gonzales’ apartment complex in the 5600 block of Culebra Road.

A neighbor there told them she had noticed five children who were unsupervised playing outside Gonzales’ apartment, according to a police report.

Officers said once they arrived, though, the children ran into the apartment, locked the door and turned out the lights. They refused, at first, to open the door when police knocked.

However, Officer Matthew Porter, spokesman for SAPD, said the neighbor eventually was able to convince the oldest child to open the door.

Porter said inside the apartment, the officers found five children in all: Gonzales’ 6- and 7-year-old daughters, 3- and 4-year-old sons, and a 2-year-old niece, who was wearing a diaper.

“They turned on a light inside the kitchen where they saw cockroaches disburse. They opened up a fridge. There was rotted food inside," Porter said.

One of the children told police Gonzales had left at some point earlier in the day to buy a pizza.

While officers were there, Gonzales arrived home, empty-handed, and told them she actually hadn’t been gone long, police said.

“She had told officers that she had been gone only about five minutes to make a phone call,” Porter said. “The neighbor said it was hours.”

According to the police report, the neighbor also said she had seen Gonzales return to the complex during the time when the children were unattended.

But she said Gonzales never checked on the children — only visited someone else in the complex briefly before getting into a car and driving away, the report stated.

Gonzales was arrested Monday night on a charge of abandoning a child.

She’s being held in the Bexar County jail, pending her arraignment, with bond set at $15,000.

Porter said the children have been placed in the custody of a relative.