Don't you hate when the facts get in the way of a good story?
Turns out the Mesa stripper's kid didn't eat dog food, after all, Mesa police say today. At least, no one actually saw the kid dog food.
Detective Michael Melendez says that the dog-food-eating part of the story came about due to notes an officer at the scene made in court documents. The officer, upon letting the temporarily abandoned kids back in their apartment, saw the 2-year-old make a beeline for the pantry and reached for a bag of dog food.
"He stuck his hand in there, but didn't eat it," Melendez says.
The child seemed "agitated" when the dog food was taken from him, the officer wrote on the document. But Melendez notes that 2-year-olds get agitated if you take anything away from them -- the child's actions don't necessarily mean the kid ate dog food regularly.
Samantha Abernathy (above), the children's mom, did have a dog on the patio, and its bowl had food in it, Melendez says.
The detective added that initial reports about the woman's refrigerator being stocked with alcoholic beverages appear to have been exaggerated as well.
"There was possibly a beer in there," he says.
Another Mesa police spokesman tried to clear up the facts with the news media yesterday, but reporters didn't seem to be listening.
"They kind of went off on their own tangent," he says.
Alishia Wenzell, the aunt of one of the children, wrote a comment on yesterday's post to let readers know the kids were safe:
Alishia Wenzell says: I am the aunt of the oldest child that was found. My brother is his father. The kids are now safely living with him. He has temporary custody of the younger brother until the other father finds livable arrangements for his son. My brother will provided his son with everything and anything that he will ever need. Our family does not need a tax cut or assistance from the government to raise his child. My brother has been fighting with the courts for over two years now to obtain custody of his son and the courts always defended the mother saying there was not "enough evidence" to remove the children from her care. There have been issues in the past raised in lieu of neglect in the home and this is what it took for the courts to finally realize there was a serious problem at hand. The mother had physical custody of the boys Saturday night and neither one of the fathers was ever contacted to come and get or watch the kids so she could leave. This is in no way, shape or form the fathers fault. She should have been more responsible and called one of us to watch the boys!!!
Posted On: Tuesday, Jun. 16 2009 @ 8:08AM
We contacted Wenzell to ask her a few questions, and she e-mailed this statement:
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The boys are happy, clean and safe! We are greatful to the Mesa Police Department and CPS Case workers that responded to the scene on Sunday morning and protected our babies until our family could arrive to take them finally home!!! Thank you to the woman at Sonora Canyon Apartment Homes that had the decency to call the police instead of turning her back like most people would have done! We owe you everything for doing this and ensuring that the boys made it home safely!"
I am sorry that we are not able to discuss the situation further but please let your readers know that we finally have the boys where they belong and they are doing wonderfully!!!!