Desiree Gonzales

Desiree Gonzales

APPLE VALLEY — A mother and her teenage roommate have been arrested after authorities say they found her 5-year-old son ‘weak and emaciated’ inside a closet.

Officers say the child was living at a house in the 21000 block of Pahute Road along with 9 other children, 3 adults and a teenage boy.

An anonymous tipster called a child abuse hot line this week and reported that a young child was being held hostage and denied food and water in a house.

Deputies say the child had bruises and lacerations all over his body and immediately asked arriving deputies for water.

The victim was transported by ambulance to St. Mary’s Hospital and later to Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital for treatment. He’s being treated for burns, bruises, cuts and malnutrition.

Deputies say the child’s mother, 31-year-old Desiree Gonzales, and the 16-year-old male roommate had been beating, burning and depriving the child of food and water.

The suspects were displaying symptoms of being under the influence of suspected methamphetamine and were also identified as having Los Angeles area gang affiliations, deputies said.

The other 9 children were removed from the home by Children and Family Services. The victim was the only child that belonged to Gonzales.

Gonzales was arrested and booked into the West Valley Detention Center on charges of Child Abuse/Torture.

The 16-year old was arrested and booked into Juvenile Hall on the same charges. It’s believed he may be Gonzales’ boyfriend.

The other two adults in the house were not charged.

The investigation is on-going.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is urged to contact Detectives Bessinger or Goddard at (909) 387-3615.