Editor’s Note – The Illegals Crime Report looks at crimes reported in the United States at the hands of those listed as illegal or undocumented.
Week of May 15– May 21
Boy Locked in Shed with Rats and Insects
Esmeralda Lira, 53, certainly won’t get the grandmother of the year award after being arrested for repeatedly locking her six-year-old grandson in a filthy shed infested with rats and insects. Lira and her 64-year-old partner, Jose Balderas, were arrested on Mother’s Day after police discovered the child standing in the dark shed, his hands tied behind his back with shoestrings.
The police received the alert from Juan Vaquero, who rented a camper on the property. Authorities were warned that three children were being abused, locked in a shed, and refused food and water. Local detectives arrived to do a welfare check in the evening on Mother’s Day. Two of the children were asleep in their bedrooms. Officers searched the area and came across the locked, dirty shed. When they knocked, a “small voice” answered back.
At first, Lira said she didn’t have keys to the building, but later retrieved them from a vehicle parked outside. A police report described the discovery, saying officers found the boy “standing alone in the pitch dark shed … his hands tied behind his back with shoelaces.” He had “ligature marks on both his wrists from being tied up” and “rats and insects [were] in the shed.”
Police removed the young child from the shed but determined he did not need to go to the hospital for further evaluation. The boy explained that he would be put in there whenever he was “bad.” He was not given any food or water during the duration and used a plastic bag to relieve himself. The grandmother allegedly used a garden hose to bathe him in the yard.
Balderas, Lira’s boyfriend, admitted that he knew of the abuse but that he didn’t want to become involved. He told authorities the boy had been locked in the shed for about two weeks.
Balderas also had three outstanding warrants from the Dallas area. Both adults were arrested and are being held on a $100,000 bail. ICE also has a detainer of each of them at the Dallas County Jail. Both were charged with abandoning or endangering a child with imminent danger of bodily injury.
The young boy, and two other children, ages four and seven, were removed from the home and put into foster care. There was no mention of parents for the minors.
Usually, child abuse is reported by schoolteachers and personnel, but during the COVID pandemic and lockdown, many of these crimes go unnoticed. Sarah Burns of the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center said, “Our concern has always been children being with their abusers all the time and having no safe adult to confide in or a safe adult that can report that abuse.” She also said that her organization has noticed a 50% drop in child abuse reports in just six weeks compared to before the lockdown.
Now add in the illegal immigrant status and it becomes an even more dangerous situation for the vulnerable to be able to get help.
Tune in next week for more on the illegals crime report.
Read more from Kelli Ballard.