A Universal City mother is behind bars after leaving her eight children at home alone and after police discovered that one of them, a 1-year-old, was severely burned.
Jessica Linda Rodriguez, 28, is charged with injury to a child after Universal City police received a call about the unattended children from Rodriguez's brother.
An arrest affidavit stated officers arrived to the home in the 200 block of Flintstone Drive and found mud, food, what appeared to be animal feces and cockroaches on the floor.
They also observed dirty dishes and clothes scattered throughout the residence.
"The house was very unsanitary," said Universal City police Det. Anthony Nolden. "Roaches crawling around, cups and food scattered throughout the floor. It had a foul odor to the whole house. Stagnant water in the sinks. It was just very unsanitary."
The residence was later condemned by the Universal City health inspector.
While investigating the case, officers determined one of the children had been injured on July 22. The baby, aged 1 and a half, had been burned by a bowl of hot soup that spilled on him.
Officers spoke to Rodriguez's husband, Gabriel Ramirez, 32, (pictured below) and he told police that Rodriguez attempted to treat the burn with a hair dryer and by applying mayonnaise to the affected area. The child was transported to the hospital with second-degree burns to 12 percent of his body and several bruises, the affidavit stated.
Rodriguez's husband admitted he should have taken the child to the hospital, but did not because of what Rodriguez told him.
"Come to find out, the burns were actually pretty bad," said Nolden. "We ended up calling EMS and taking him to the hospital."
The boy has since been released from the hospital.
Ramirez also told that Rodriguez had a drug and gambling problem that keeps her out all night, the affidavit stated, and that Rodriguez usually leaves before he returns from work and only returns home to sleep.
Ramirez was taken into custody immediately and was charged with eight counts of child abandonment.
He has since bonded out.
Police said Rodriguez drove by the house during the investigation, but did not return to the home while officers were there and was arrested a few days later.
She was charged with injury to a child, but more charges are pending.
CPS has custody of all eight children. At the time of the investigation, only seven of the eight were there.
The oldest, a 12-year-old, had gone to a friend's house.
"Since I've been here, this is probably the worst cases of child abandonment that I've personally seen," said Nolden. "It was pretty bad and I understand the father was trying to do his best, but the house was just very unsanitary. Nobody should live like that."