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updated: 6/14/2012 7:40 PM

Parents of blindfolded, bound children held on bail

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  • Deborah Gomez

      Deborah Gomez

  • Adolfo Gomez

      Adolfo Gomez

 
Associated Press

LAWRENCE, Kan. -- A man and woman from the Western suburbs face felony child abuse and child endangerment charges after police said two of their five children were found blindfolded with their arms and legs bound in a Kansas Walmart parking lot.

Adolfo Gomez, 52, and Deborah Gomez, 43, appeared in court by video Thursday in Douglas County. Bail was set at $50,000 each. They were appointed public defenders, and preliminary hearings were scheduled for June 21.

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Police said both are from Northlake, but a booking recap on the sheriff's office website gave a Bensenville address for Deborah Gomez.

Lawrence police spokesman Sgt. Trent McKinley told the Lawrence Journal-World newspaper that could be because the parents were uncooperative. Douglas County jail employees likely obtained the address from a form of identification, he said.

Their attorneys did not immediately return phone messages.

All five children are now in protective custody, authorities said. The parents were told in court that they can't have any contact with the children or each other.

Each is charged with two counts of child abuse and five counts of child endangerment. Adolfo Gomez also is charged with one count of obstruction.

Police responded to a 911 call from a concerned shopper Wednesday and spotted the 5-year-old boy sitting on the ground beside a large SUV with his hands tied behind his back, his legs bound and a blindfold covering his eyes. As an officer approached the car, he noticed a man standing near the vehicle.

"When (the man) saw the officer, he tried to get away from him," McKinley said. The man ducked inside the vehicle and the officer, concerned that the man could be reaching for a weapon, used a stun gun and put him in handcuffs, McKinley said.

Prosecutors said a 7-year-old girl also was found outside the vehicle, blindfolded with her arms and legs bound. Three other children, ages 12, 13 and 15, were inside the vehicle but were not restrained.

Officers arrested the children's 43-year-old mother inside the Walmart.

The couple and their children were forced to pull off Interstate 70 late Monday when their vehicle had transmission problems, McKinley said.

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