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Parents, grandmother arrested after 6-year-old kept in closet for a month dies in Flagstaff

The two parents and grandmother all face charges of first-degree felony homicide and two counts of child abuse.

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Flagstaff police arrested three people after the death of a 6-year-old boy, the department announced Monday. 

Anthony Jose Archibeque-Martinez, 23, Elizabeth Archibeque-Martinez, 26, and Ann Marie Martinez, 50, were all booked into the Coconino County Jail for first degree felony homicide and two counts of child abuse. 

Officers responded to a report of an unresponsive child Monday around noon. Officers immediately began life-saving efforts until medical personnel arrived. 

The child was pronounced dead on scene. 

Flagstaff PD detectives interviewed members of the family residing in the residence with the child and a search warrant was conducted. 

Police say the child appeared malnourished. There were no obvious signs of trauma. 

The parents of the 6-year-old boy admitted the child and his 7-year-old brother, who police say also appeared malnourished, were kept in the bedroom closet and denied food at times. 

The parents told detectives the boys were kept in the closet because they were stealing food, sneaking out at night while the parents slept, police say.

According to police, the parents estimated the children had been kept in the closet for about one month.

The grandmother told detectives she was aware of the condition the children were kept in and she, too, disciplined the kids when they stole food, according to police.

Police say the investigation is ongoing and pending the medical examiner’s report for manner of death findings. 

The Department of Child Safety confirmed that the child's siblings are currently in their care. 

There was a prior DCS report involving the Archibeque-Martinez family from Feb. of 2013 involving two allegations of abuse, DCS said. The allegations were unsubstantiated, and after the parents agreed and took part in voluntary in-home services, the case was closed.

"We ask that if you reasonably suspect that a child is being abused or neglected report it to DCS at 888-SOS-CHILD (888-767-2445)," the department stated. "Your information will be kept confidential."


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