Boys removed from home, parents charged with child abuse

Steve Garrison The Daily Times
The Daily Times

FARMINGTON — Farmington police had two young children removed last week from a home they claim was unsanitary and unsafe.

The children's parents, Angela Horman and Michael Horman, were also each charged Friday in Farmington Magistrate Court with two counts of child abuse, a third-degree felony, due to the alleged danger the environment posed to the children.

The Hormans were released from the San Juan County Adult Detention Center on Saturday after each of them posted a $30,000 surety bond, according to court records.

Michael Horman, reached by telephone, declined to comment on Monday.

"I really do not have anything to say right now," he said.

Farmington police officers were dispatched shortly after 6 p.m. Saturday, July 18, to a house at 2905 E. 23rd St. after a neighbor, Odalys Fidueroa, reported she was concerned about two children crying inside, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

A supervisor was immediately called to the scene after two boys, ages 2 and 3, were found naked and crying in a small room contaminated with flies and feces, the affidavit states.

An officer pulled the boys out through a window; one door leading to the room was jammed shut with a screw and another door was blocked by a bunk bed, according to the affidavit.

The older of the two boys had multiple scratches and bruises on his body, according to the affidavit.

Officers entered the residence and made contact with Angela Horman, 37, and Michael Horman, 40.

"I immediately detected an awful odor inside the home," the officer states in the affidavit. "It was overwhelming. I was shocked by the condition of the home."

The officer notes in the affidavit that trash, old food and cigarette butts covered the floors and "every inch of the home was covered in flies."

The bathroom floor, toilet and shower were covered in feces, as was a blue child's toilet seat, the affidavit states.

Officers could not find food, clean clothing, blankets or pillows for the boys, according to the affidavit.

The Hormans told an officer their landlord was to blame for the condition of the home, which they had lived in for about a year.

Fidueroa, the neighbor, watched over the children and provided them food and water while police were at the scene.

She told officers that she and her family heard the children crying and screaming constantly.

The children's grandmother arrived at the scene and told police the home was not usually that messy and also claimed the condition of the home was the landlord's fault.

The children were removed from the home by employees from New Mexico's Children, Youth and Families Department.

Helen Quintana, a spokeswoman for the department, said in an email Monday the children remain in the custody of the state.

"CYFD is investigating, however, (I) cannot comment on any other specifics on the case due to confidentiality laws," Quintana said.

Farmington police Chief Steve Hebbe thanked Fidueroa for her willingness to contact law enforcement and become involved in the situation.

"These seemingly small decisions make a big difference in the lives of our community members," he said, adding later. "Working together with the appropriate agencies, we hope the family gets the resources they need to provide a safe environment for their children."

Steve Garrison covers crime and courts for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4644 and Follow him on Twitter @SteveGarrisonDT on Twitter.