Mother Charged With Child Abuse After Five-Year-Old Daughter Tests Positive For Meth

Las Cruces – Dona Ana County Sheriff's Investigators this afternoon arrested and charged MARLENE SANDOVAL, age 33, of Flatland Road, with Child Abuse - Negligently Cause (No Death or Great Bodily Harm), a third degree felony, after investigators learned that she and her daughter, age 5, tested positive for methamphetamine.

SANDOVAL tested positive both for Amphetamine and Methamphetamine, after both her and her child submitted to providing "hair" samples.

Sheriff's Investigators became involved in the case on July 28, after a person reported seeing burns running the length of the Child's arm.

Concerned that SANDOVAL had not taken the Child in for medical treatment because SANDOVAL reportedly told this person that she was afraid her child would test positive for "meth", notified authorities.

SANDOVAL told investigators that the burns were as a result of a cooking accident four weeks prior to the incident being reported.

A cooking pan, found by investigators at the scene, was taken into evidence and will be sent to the Crime Lab.

The child was immediately taken into "Protective Custody" following the initial report and has since been placed in Foster Care by C.Y.F.D.

The arrest was as a result of a multi-agency investigation conducted by the Dona Ana County Sheriff's Department, the Dona Ana County/Las Cruces Metro Agency, and the Children, Youth and Families Department (C.Y.F.D.)

SANDOVAL, at the time of her arrest, was meeting with her Probation Officer at the Adult Probation Office, after just being placed on probation yesterday, for a previous unrelated Drug charge, in which she pled guilty last week. SANDOVAL was set to go to trial next week.

Bond for SANDOVAL was set at $10,000.00 cash, by Magistrate Judge Ken Wingenroth.

SANDOVAL is currently being housed at the Dona Ana County Detention Center.