LAS CRUCES – A Las Cruces mother of three children was arrested Tuesday and now faces the same child abuse charges as her live-in boyfriend, police said.
Ashley Thurman, 29, of the 1900 block of Colorado Avenue, was charged with two counts of child abuse not resulting in death or great bodily harm, a third-degree felony, according to the Las Cruces Police Department .
Thurman’s boyfriend, 22-year-old Eddie Castillo, of Las Cruces, is facing similar charges.
In December, Las Cruces police conducted a welfare check on an 8-month-old boy who was enrolled at a local daycare center. Personnel at the daycare complained that the infant boy, along with his older sisters, now 7 and 8, always appeared to be dirty and inadequately clothed when they were dropped off at the daycare.
When police went to Thurman’s home, officers found it to be without the basic necessities to serve as a safe place for children to live. Officers learned there was no food in the home’s freezer, and very little food in the refrigerator and pantry. Officers found the bathroom to be filthy with toilet paper and trash scattered on the floor.
Upon further investigation, officers discovered marijuana and drug paraphernalia inside the children’s bedroom within reach of the kids.
The children were interviewed and investigators learned that they had significant knowledge of drug usage within the home. Two of the children, the 8-month-old boy and 8-year-old girl, tested positive for methamphetamine. Investigators learned that a friend of the couple, who was known to smoke methamphetamine, regularly visited the couple at night and would hang out with Castillo until the early-morning hours.
Investigators also learned of bruising on the 8-year-old girl and determined it occurred when Castillo kicked her on her lower back. Investigators subsequently learned that Thurman was aware of the abuse but failed to report it to authorities.
Castillo was taken into custody on Monday, while Thurman was arrested on Tuesday evening. Both were booked into the Doña Ana County Detention Center, where they were initially held without bond.