Published January 14, 2015
A New Mexico couple is jailed after a 10-year-old girl told police her father and stepmother used a timer to allow her only a few minutes to eat, then locked her in her room to keep her from getting up and eating.
Police in Portales say the child also was denied access to the bathroom at home and forced to wear pull-up diapers, and her head was shaved as punishment.
She was removed from the home Sept. 18, when elementary school teachers called police, saying the girl appeared malnourished.
Mern and Athena Shepherd were arrested six days later and charged with child neglect. They remained jailed Thursday with bail set at $5,000 each.
Jail officials had no information about whether the Shepherds have a lawyer.