A Las Cruces woman was arrested and accused of abusing her children.
According to the Las Cruces Sun News, Police officers arrested 32-year-old Monique Montellano.
Detectives said employees of a local day care center called the Children, Youth and Families Department on Oct. 15 after noticing marks on the neck of Montellano’s 3-year-old son.
Court documents state that on Oct. 15, investigators with the Las Cruces Police Criminal Investigations unit were called to Kids Kountry Daycare Center after a daycare worker found bruises on the boy’s neck.
Day care staff asked the boy what happened and he said his “mommy” had hurt him while the two watched TV. The boy grabbed his neck and made choking sounds while disclosing how he was hurt, court documents state.
The following day, when the children were back home, a witness noticed bruising on the girl’s leg. The girl allegedly said “Mommy bit me because I couldn’t find my shoes,” when asked by the witness about the bruising, court documents state.
The children were again taken for safe house interviews on Oct. 17.
In the two safe house interviews, the boy and the girl each described other incidents of possible abuse, such as being pushed into a vehicle and being spanked with a belt.
During an interview after waiving her Miranda rights, Montellano allegedly admitted to the police that she often yells and curses at her children, and tells them that she hates them and wants them to get out of her house to go live with their father.
However, she said she didn’t know how the boy ended up with the bruises on his neck. She did admit to being frustrated because her daughter couldn’t find her shoes, but said it was her son who bit his sister, court documents state.
Asked about spanking her kids with a belt, Montellano initially told investigators that she didn’t own a belt as described by her daughter, and that she used a shoelace to spank her kids.
When investigators asked her if she could walk them through her house to prove that she doesn’t have a belt like that, Montellano admitted to spanking them with the belt about a month ago.
Montellano told investigators that she had a medical marijuana card, but only smokes in her room, not near the children. A voluntary drug test revealed her son had marijuana in his system, court documents state.
In 2016, Montellano pleaded guilty to two counts of child abuse and one count of aggravated driving while intoxicated. As part of her sentence, she was ordered to complete anger management counseling and community services.
Court documents from February 2016 state that Montellano was driving drunk with her daughter in the car and crashed into another vehicle on Interstate 10. Montellano fled from the scene.