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Woman Starved 4-Year-Old Daughter Down To 17 Pounds

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A Santa Ana woman is under investigation for starving her four-year-old daughter and leaving her at a hospital with open wounds, weighing only 17 or 18 pounds. According to KTLA, 35-year-old Antonia Benitez reportedly dropped the child off at Saint Joseph's Children Hospital on June 3, then fled the scene. The girl was malnourished and her weight was half of what it should be for her age.

Authorities went to Benitez' home, where they found that she has eight other children. ABC7 reports that none of the other youngsters showed any signs of abuse.

Neighbors told ABC7 that Benitez had lived in the home for several years, and that her kids could often be seen outside playing. They did note, however, that they hadn't seen the youngest for some time.

According to the LA Times, Benitez is being held on $250,000 bail, and faces three counts of felony child abuse.