A suburban Chicago couple was arrested after two of their five children were found bound and blindfolded in a Lawrence, Kan., Walmart parking lot.
Adolfo Gomez, 52, and Deborah Gomez, 43, of Northlake, Ill., are charged with two counts of child abuse and five counts of child endangerment, according to ABC7 News. Adolfo Gomez is also charged with a felony for resisting arrest.
Lawrence police were called to the Walmart on Wednesday after another shopper saw a five-year-old boy beside an SUV with his hands tied behind his back, his legs bound and a blindfold over his eyes, reported the Associated Press. A seven-year-old girl, also bound and blindfolded, was found with him. Three other children, ages 12, 13 and 15, were also found in the vehicle, unbound. They are all now in protective custody and the parents' bond was set at $50,000 each.
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According to CBS Chicago, the family is said to have traveled from their home in Northlake to Kansas, where they had been renting a house for the past few months. Neighbors said they had moved out last week and were heading to Arizona to find work, leaving many of their belongings behind. The family's van broke down once they reached Kansas and the couple had been living in the Walmart parking lot since Monday.
"I've been a police officer for 21 years and this is certainly one of the more unusual and more disturbing calls that I've been on," Sgt. Trent McKinley said, reported MSNBC. "As we continue the investigation and interviews (with the children), we are hoping to understand the dynamics of the family, what's occurred the last couple of days and possibly what their intentions were."
MSNBC also reported that police are continuing to work with child welfare officials in order to take care of the five children while their parents are in jail.