‘The system failed these children’: Judge holds hearing on toddlers found tied up, trapped inside playpen

Both toddlers placed in foster care and doing well according to their ad litem attorney

SAN ANTONIO – Two toddlers found bound, trapped and alone in a Southwest Side home on Jan. 9 are doing well and adjusting well in a foster home, their ad litem attorney told a judge during a children’s court hearing Wednesday.

Judge Charles Montemayor presided over the hearing about the current status of the children as well as their history.

According to Child Protective Services, the children were originally taken from their biological mother and the father of one of the children after the children were found with unexplained fractures.

The children were placed in the care of Priscilla Salais, the biological mother’s stepmother, after she passed a home study done by CPS.

CPS also stated that everything seemed fine during the home visit they conducted on Dec. 29, 2021, saying Salais was meeting the children’s basic needs.

But just 11 days later, the two toddlers were found alone. According to the arrest affidavit, the toddler girl was found tied by her wrists and ankles with visible injuries and the toddler boy was found encaged in a playpen.

Salais was arrested and charged with two counts of endangering a child. Salais posted bond on Tuesday and has since been released from jail. Her first court hearing won’t take place until she is indicted.

“All adults, parents, caregivers, and the system failed these children,” Montemayor told everyone involved in this case. “These children have been through a lot and it’s not going to continue.”

Montemayor ordered that the children begin trauma-based therapy and for child advocates to get involved.

The ad litem attorney said a new CPS caseworker would be assigned to the case starting Feb. 1.


About the Authors

Erica Hernandez is an Emmy award-winning journalist with 15 years of experience in the broadcast news business. Erica has covered a wide array of stories all over Central and South Texas. She's currently the court reporter and cohost of the podcast Texas Crime Stories.

Misael started at KSAT-TV as a photojournalist in 1987.

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