Woman accused of starving 2 kids, beating them with metal bat

Affidavit says 15-year-old victim was 'skin and bones'

By Mariah Medina - Digital Journalist
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SAN ANTONIO - Deputies arrested a woman on Sunday and charged her with beating two teenagers with an aluminum bat.

Marissa Monica Cano, 38, is charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. 

Authorities became aware of the beatings after a 15-year-old victim escaped the house where he was being kept on Saturday and ran to a Sonic in the 3000 block of TPC Parkway for help. There, someone helped him call 911. According to an arrest affidavit, Cano's address is a mile from the Sonic.

The document said the 15-year-old had severe injuries and required immediate medical attention. The child suffered "severe bruising to the back, buttocks, upper thighs, upper arms" and had open wounds, the document said.

The 15-year-old had injuries consistent with a victim of continuous child abuse. Investigators estimated he had been abused for "several years."

Sheriff Javier Salazar said the teen was "skin and bones." 

"Not only did he suffer some pretty substantial injuries, the young man was severely underweight," Salazar said. "For a 15-year-old boy, he's only about 70 pounds."

The teen told deputies Cano abused him, his 8-year-old sister and 17-year-old brother -- often beating them with the baseball bat, starving them "like animals" and locking them in a garage.

The kids are not related to Cano. Salazar said they are often left in Cano's care.

As of Sunday, Cano is charged with beating the 15-year-old and the 17-year-old. It's unclear when or if Cano will be charged for the abuse of the 8-year-old.

The kids told investigators the abuse took place whenever "they did something bad or broke something in the house."

"Very tragic case -- several deputies on scene actually mentioned this case evoked memories of the Jovonie Ochoa case from many years ago where, under similar circumstances, the young boy, about 4 years of age was basically starved and beaten to death by a suspect," Salazar said.

Salazar said the 15-year-old's injuries are in various stages of healing and infection. He expects more arrests to be made.

"There are other persons of interest that we'd prefer that they come looking for us and tell us their side of the story before we go looking for them," Salazar said.

Deputies removed a total of five kids from the home -- the three victims and Cano's two children. Salazar said Cano's kids didn't show any signs of abuse.

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