WINTON, Calif. -- A Winton mother and father have been arrested after their three young girls were found home alone in an apartment that had clothes and dog feces all over the floor, the Merced County Sheriff's Department said.
A deputy was sent at about 2:30 p.m. Monday to an apartment complex in the 7000 block of Winton Way after someone reported that the 4-, 6- and 8-year-old children had been left unsupervised.
Inside the residence, the deputy found three small dogs covered in lice and open sores.
While talking to the girls, the deputy discovered that they they had not seen Valle since Saturday. They said they saw Vega earlier that day, but hadn't seen him since.
While the deputy was there, Valle arrived home. She said she was out with a friend and that the girls were supposed to be supervised by Vega. A short time later, Vega came out from one of the other apartments in the complex.
The Sheriff's Department said Vega admitted he was supposed to be watching the girls, but said he does not live in their apartment anymore because of previous domestic violence involving Valle.
Vega said he was staying at his sister’s apartment in the same complex, and had no idea that the girls had returned to their mother's apartment after going outside to play.
Authorities said this was the sixth time since August that a deputy has been to the residence for a welfare check of children who were left unattended.
The children were taken into protective custody by Child Protective Services and Animal Control took custody of the dogs.
Valle and Vega both remain in jail. Bail for each was set at $55,000.