Husband and Wife Arrested in Ceres, Accused of Child Endangerment

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Police responding to a domestic disturbance call arrested a husband and wife on child endangerment charges in Ceres on Tuesday morning.

Two officers responded to a home on Roeding Road for a family disturbance. Jesus Chavez, 41, told officers he and his wife, 37-year-old Analisha Melendrez were arguing. Chavez told police he was trying to leave the house when his wife "touched" him on the arm with a baseball bat. He called for an officer to be present while he packed up his things to leave.

While the officer tried to mediate the couple's arguing, an 18-month-old girl walked up to an officer holding a non-locking prescription bottle of Loratadine -- an allergy medication, police said. The parents continued to argue and never noticed the girl trying to open the bottle that contained about 20 pills, police said.

Officers began asking questions about the 18-month-old and 6-year-old girls' conditions. Both appeared to be unbathed, police said.

An investigation determined the house hadn't had running water for two months. The officer inspected the home and saw cockroaches throughout the home, floors soiled with rotten food, dirt and debris, large pieces of furniture stacked on each other, moldy food in the kitchen and the sink was filled with what appeared to be vomit.

A crib in the children's room was found filled with dirty clothing that could suffocate a child, police said. There was no place in the room safe for a child to sleep, police said. The room was very dirty and the toilet was full of feces.

The two girls appeared to be hungry, police said. The 6-year-old told an officer she had not eaten since breakfast time the day before. Officers received crackers from neighbors who heard about the condition of the girls. The younger girl was in a soiled diaper, police said.

A Ceres officer took the girls to the police department to change the baby and allow the older girl to use the restroom. The baby had severe diaper rash, police said.

Child Protective Services was called to the scene. Chavez and Melendrez took urine tests, which tested positive for methamphetamine.

The children were taken into protective custody and the parents were arrested and charged for child neglect and child endangerment.

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