Ashli Rene Lock, 37, is charged with felony child abandonment by authorities after police discovered the children living alone in their own filth at a Quality Inn in Houston.
“Officers noted that both of the children appeared malnourished and filthy,” states a charging document filed Thursday by the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. “The one year old was sleeping in a soiled diaper.”
The 12-year-old girl told cops that she had “not left this hotel room in about a month,” the court filing says. She also claimed Lock, who works as a bartender, “has not provided her with adequate food for her baby brother, so she feeds him mac and cheese.”
Officials described the living space as “something resembling a Marvin Zindler inspired nightmare of unsanitary living conditions, with broken bottles on the floor, drugs in plain view, slime in the refrigerator and moldy food haphazardly strewn throughout. To quote the late Mr. Zindler, ‘it’s hell to be poor.’ It is even worse to be a poor and neglected child.”
Zindler, who died in 2007, was a crusading journalist who exposed scams, corruption, and abuse.
“She said that sometimes her mother comes home from work, sometimes not,” the filing continues. “The twelve year old did not have her mother’s phone number and had no meaningful way of contacting her mother in the event of an emergency.”
The unidentified 12-year-old also showed cops pictures of injuries she said she sustained from Lock hitting her. She said Lock had taken her out of school in order to look after the 1-year-old boy. The case was first reported by local outlet Fox 26.
Last October, another Houston mom was charged with abandoning her three children, ages 7, 10, and 15 in a fetid apartment alongside the rotting corpse of their 8-year-old brother. Police said the 8-year-old had been dead for a full year when they found his skeletal remains in one of the home’s bedrooms. When officers arrived, the 15-year-old told them his mother and her boyfriend hadn’t been living there for months, and that they were surviving thanks to a friendly neighbor who brought them food.
Lock, who in 2016 was convicted of felony theft and felony drug possession two years later, presently has a pending DWI case making its way through the court system, according to a separate filing in the case. Child Protective Services is now involved and the kids have been placed with other family, it states.
According to a financial status filing, Lock earns $1,000 a month with expenses of $1,900, and reported total assets of $2 cash when she was arrested. Prosecutors asked for $75,000 bond; Lock was released after posting $1,500, court documents say.
Lock does not yet have a lawyer listed in court records and was unable to be reached on Saturday.
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