2-Year-Old Found Bruised, Beaten in Filthy Modesto Motel Room
MODESTO — A 2-year-old girl was found living in squalor, her face covered in bruises and her teeth chipped, in a motel room at the American Budget Inn and Suites in Modesto, according to the Modesto Police Department.
FOX40 spoke to two men who know the motel well.
“It’s wrong,” said a man who identified himself as Norman. “I don’t even like to think about that because I have two little girls.”
The other man asked us to hide his identity.
“This right here is going to traumatize the child, probably forever,” he explained.
Investigators with the Modesto Police Department say officers pulled over the girl’s mother, Kelsey Ann West, on McHenry Avenue Wednesday night.
They said West showed them a picture of her daughter and claimed she was being abused. She took them to her motel room and that’s when officers found the girl had been beaten, living in filth, with heroin and drug pipes nearby.
A motel manager FOX40 spoke to off-camera claimed her room had been paid for through a voucher program that helps homeless families.
West, along with her boyfriend, Marcel Lee Goff, were arrested on suspicion of child abuse.
Behind bars, Goff granted FOX40 an interview.
No cameras were allowed inside the Stanislaus County Jail. During the first part of the interview he said he would only talk to us if we agreed to bail him out. FOX40 said no but he proceeded to answer some questions anyway.
Goff said he’s not the girl’s father but was adamant that he never abused the child.
“Why would I do that?” Goff said. “The only mistake I made is I was doing drugs.”
Goff added that there were at least three more people staying inside the room.
Goff said he didn’t use the heroin that was found, but admitted he had a marijuana and meth pipe, which violate his probation.
As for the little girl, she’s now with Child Protective Services.
Many are hoping she’ll be able to work through the abuse she’s been through and that the people responsible will pay for what they did.
“I’ll be honest, I don’t feel bad for the parents,” the man who did not want to release his identity said. “I don’t feel bad for the parents because everybody’s accountable for what you do.”
Goff also said the room was rented under West’s name; they had stayed there for two nights.
The county cannot comment on specific cases but they did say that families who are housed under their CalWORKs cash assistance program are provided with up to 16 nights of temporary shelter. Families must prove they lack a fixed and regular night-time residence, are staying in a public or private place that is not designated for regular sleeping accommodations, or have a notice to pay or be evicted.
They did not disclose, however, if any county representatives conduct welfare checks once a family benefits from the program.