Houston women accused of tying up 6-year-old boy with duct tape appear in court

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HOUSTON — Two of four women accused of tying up a 6-year-old boy with duct tape appeared in court Thursday morning.

Emely Zuniga, 19, and Estephanie Garcia, 21, are charged with endangering a child.  Their bond has been set at $2,000.

Houston police said the two women admitted to confining the child in duct tape because he kept getting into fights at school and they could not control him.

The hero in this sticky situation? A maintenance worker at the Villa Contento apartments who, while trying to fix the unit's air conditioner, saw the boy with both his eyes taped shut and his hands taped behind his back. The maintenance worker took pictures before telling the building manager, who then contacted police.

Police said the boy's mother, Maria Ruiz, witnessed the taping but didn't attempt to stop it nor did she call police. Ruiz appears in court on Sept. 26.

Garcia racked up an additional charge of injury to a child when her 1-year-old daughter was also found in the home with an untreated burn on her hand. She received an additional $20,000 bond for that charge.

“The investigation is open, we're trying to get more information and this is definitely a case that the district attorney's office here in Harris County takes seriously,” Harris County Assistant District Attorney William Mejia said.

According to Child Protective Services, the 6-year-old and his two siblings are now in foster care and doing well. They're continuing their investigation to determine where the kids will end up.

There's a line between bad parenting and straight up criminal behavior.

Thankfully, the handy man at this complex can tell the difference.

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