20 kids, 20 dogs taken from dilapidated Southern California home; 5 arrested

ByABC7.com staff KABC logo
Friday, September 2, 2016

VICTORVILLE, Calif. -- Twenty children and 20 dogs were removed from a Victorville home Friday morning after authorities found the home to be uninhabitable.

Around 10:42 a.m., deputies with the Victorville station responded to a house in the 15800 block of Eto Camino Road to help the local Department of Children and Family Services remove kids from the house.

When authorities arrived, they found the home contained black mold, there was not enough food, no electricity or gas, inadequate sleeping conditions and that the dogs did not have any access to water.

The 20 children, who range in age from 2 1/2 months to 17 years old, were taken from the home. Authorities also removed the 20 dogs, two of which were dead, from the residence.

Five women, all from Victorville, were arrested and taken to the High Desert Detention Center.

Matosha Martinez, 35, and Virginia Mann, 61, were booked on suspicion of being under the influence of a controlled substance and child cruelty. Cherish Lewis, 22, Dajanet Smith, 25, and Thereca Griffin, 42, were booked on suspicion of child cruelty.

Anyone with more information on the incident were asked to call the Victorville Police Department at (760) 241-2911. Those wishing to remain anonymous may call the We-Tip Hotline at (800) 782-7463.