EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — A Las Cruces mother with two prior child abuse convictions was arrested Monday after police learned she allegedly strangled her 3-year-old son and bit her daughter for not finding her shoes.
Monique Montellano, 32, is charged with three counts of child abuse. All charges are second-degree felonies.
Las Cruces Police learned of the allegations after employees at a local daycare called the Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD) after noticing marks on the kneck of Montellano’s 3-year-old son.
During an interview, the preschooler told authorities his mother grabbed his neck and strangled him, leaving marks.
Investigators later learned Montellano’s 5-year-old daughter had a visible bite mark to her upper right thigh. During an interview, the girl told investigators her mother bit her because she couldn’t find her shoes and her mom allegedly tells her she “hates her” often.
Court documents also state the 5-year-old told investigators her mother told her she wishes she’d move out of the house on more than one occasion.
Montellano and her children went through voluntary drug testing as part of the investigation. Montellano and her 3-year-old son both tested positive for marijuana.
This is the third time Montellano has been arrested on suspicion of Child Abuse. In September 2016, Montellano was convicted of Child Abuse following a crash where she was driving drunk. Court records show Montellano had a blood alcohol level of .17 when she crashed into a truck and left the scene. She was eventually located, with her then 16-month-old daughter in an unsecured car seat. She was sentenced to three years in prison, but only served 206 days after a judge suspended the remainder of her sentence.
Montellano was arrested Monday and booked into the Doña Ana County Detention Center where she is initially being held without bond.
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