Tucson pair accused in abuse of twin girls, 18 months

2013-03-14T15:01:00Z 2013-03-15T07:47:47Z Tucson pair accused in abuse of twin girls, 18 monthsKimberly Matas Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

The parents of 18-month-old twins were arrested Wednesday on suspicion of child abuse.

Kristepher Benavidez, 25, and Monique Gaxiola, 30, were booked into Pima County jail. Each faces two counts of child abuse, Sgt. Chris Widmer, spokesman for the Tucson Police Department, said in a news release.

Tucson Fire Department personnel went to a home in the 5200 block of South Newcastle Court near South Midvale Park Road, in response to a child not breathing call about about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday.

While they took the toddler to a hospital, police officers discovered the toddler’s twin and a 7-year-old sister at a neighbors home. While the older child appeared uninjured, the twin girls suffered “injuries that appeared non-accidental,” Widmer said.

Detectives “determined that the father had been physically abusing the twin 18-month old sisters for an unknown period of time. The mother was aware of the abuse but did not report it. Both children suffered severe trauma from the abuse,” Widmer said in the release.

The oldest child is in the custody of state Child Protective Services. The twins remain hospitalized.

Bond for Benavidez was set at $20,000, while it is $5,000 for Gaxiola.

The investigation is ongoing, he said.

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