Texas boy locked up in rat-infested shed by gran says he was kicked brutally and forced to poop in plastic bag

When authorities reported at the scene and asked for the whereabouts of the boy, the grandmother said he was with his mother


                            Texas boy locked up in rat-infested shed by gran says he was kicked brutally and forced to poop in plastic bag
Esmeralda Lira, Jose Balderas (Dallas County Jail)

The six-year-old boy from Dallas, Texas, who was found tied up in a shed last week, revealed to police officials that his grandmother would often kick him, grab his ears, and give him a plastic bag when he wanted to use the bathroom. He also told authorities that Esmeralda Lira, 53, would lock him tied up in her backyard shed for nearly two weeks and would use a hose to spray him down whenever she felt he needed to be bathed.

Lira and her 66-year-old boyfriend, Jose Balderas, was arrested by Dallas law enforcement on Mother's Day, May 10, and have been charged with felony counts of child endangerment.

The minor, who has not been identified, shared the details of his abuse during a forensic interview. He told the authorities that he had just been locked in the shed for about an hour when officers arrived at the scene. According to an arrest affidavit obtained by CBS DFW, the boy said that his grandmother would lock him up in the shed whenever she left home on Conston Drive. He added that Lira would often lock him inside saying he was bad.

The six-year-old told police he was never allowed to come into the house and was locked inside the shed even during the night. He added that the shed was infested with rats and insects. The child revealed that he was given a plastic bag in the shed to go to the bathroom and that his grandmother would often punish him by kicking and grabbing his ears.

Lira's boyfriend, Balderas, told authorities that although he was aware of the mistreatment of the little boy, he did not intervene because he did not want to be part of the issue. He told police that the minor had been in the shed for at least two weeks.

Authorities were alerted of the abuse on May 10 after a neighbor called them informing that a boy was locked in the shed. When they arrived at the Coston Drive home around 11.30 pm, asking for the whereabouts of the boy, Lira told them that he was with his mother. The police however encountered Balderas at the home who led them toward the shed. The officials asked Lira to open the door, threatening to break it down if she refused. When she opened the shed, the boy was found inside with his hands tied behind his back.

The grandmother, however, told authorities that the boy was there for one-time punishment but her boyfriend revealed that he had been confined there for nearly two weeks because he stole food.

The child told officers that the alleged abuse began ever since he "got out of school for this corona thing." The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services is reportedly probing the case, and have taken the boy, his seven-year-old sister and his four-year-old brother from the home. All the children have been placed in foster care. 

Both Lira and Balderas are currently in Dallas County Jail and their bonds set for $100,000.

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