Mom, roommate allegedly beat, burned boy

APPLE VALLEY, Calif. Police say 31-year-old Desiree Gonzales abused and tortured her 5-year-old son inside their Apple Valley home.

"We sat here and cried. We realized that little boy was over there and that was happening to him and we didn't know about it," said an unidentified neighbor.

The neighbor also says that the people inside the home were quiet and stayed inside. However, in recent weeks, kids were seen playing outside.

"The lady across the street she said she could hear screaming and stuff in the backyard, but she just thought they were fighting, just normal fighting like some people do," said the neighbor.

Sheriff's deputies showed up at the house on Tuesday after an anonymous call from someone saying a young child was being held hostage, with no food or water.

When police entered they found the boy inside a closet, bruised and beaten, begging for water. There were also nine additional small children, three adults and a teenager in the home.

The children were taken into protective custody. Two of the adults were released. But the third adult and the teenager, were arrested and charged. Sheriff's officials can't give enough credit to the anonymous caller.

"We definitely appreciate calls like that. If they're anonymous that's fine, at least they can be followed up on," said Cynthia Beavers from the San Bernardino Co. Sheriff's Dept. "If this person had not called, it's likely the deputies would never have known until the child had suffered fatal injuries."

Again that child is expected to survive. As for the two suspects, Desiree Gonzalez and her 16-year-old roommate, police say they both have ties to Los Angeles gangs and they think that they were both on meth at the time of the arrest.

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