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2 arrested after Texas police find 6-year-old locked in shed

Esmeralda Lira, 53, and Jose Balderas, 66, were booked into the Dallas County jail on child endangerment charges.
Esmeralda Lira, 53, and Jose Balderas, 66, were booked into the Dallas County jail on child endangerment charges. (Dallas County Jail)

DALLAS – Police have arrested two people after finding a 6-year-old boy locked in a shed in Dallas.

Esmeralda Lira, 53, and Jose Balderas, 66, were booked into the Dallas County jail on child endangerment charges. Bonds are set at $100,000 each. Court records state both are Mexican citizens and were in the United States illegally, so immigration holds have been placed on both.

A message seeking comment from the attorney appointed for Balderas was not answered immediately. Court records list no attorney for Lira.

A witness directed officers to the boy on Sunday night during a welfare check at a home in a suburban neighborhood on the city's southeast side, said police spokeswoman Tamika Dameron. Medics evaluated the boy but did not take him to a hospital.

Dameron said both people were arrested without incident but declined to say their relationship to the boy. She also declined to say how long the child had been in the shed.

The boy, his 7-year-old sister and their 4-year-old brother were removed from the home and placed in foster care, said a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.