Crime

Seven Phoenix-Area Parents Arrested on Child-Abuse Charges Over the Weekend

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The parents of a 1-year-old Phoenix girl were arrested after police discovered the girl's father allegedly had bitten her and ripped out her hair.

The parents of the 18-year-old mother, Sandy Aranda, called police on Saturday after not seeing their granddaughter for a while.

According to court documents, police went to check the child's welfare at the home, near 39th Avenue and Buckeye Road. Police immediately noticed the child's injuries, including the bite marks, and sought medical treatment.

Court documents indicate Zuniga admitted to abusing the girl. According to the documents, Zuniga admitted to pulling out her hair, biting her on the face and legs, and slapping her on the mouth because she was crying. He also admitted to hiding the girl from other family members so they didn't see the injuries.

Additionally, the arresting officer wrote the following in a probable-cause statement: "During the interview with [Zuniga], while describing to police when he was biting the victim, [Zuniga] began to laugh."

Aranda admitted knowing about the abuse, but told police that she didn't call anyone for help because she didn't want her daughter "to be without a father," court documents state. She also was scared that she might be jailed over an incident in which she hit Zuniga with a glass bottle, she told police.

Both parents, Zuniga and Aranda, were booked into jail on child-abuse charges.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley