East Texas Teens Found Locked In Shed

Police found two East Texas teenage girls locked in a shed. Their mother, who police say allowed the teens to sleep there, is now behind bars.  Last week, in Tool, a small town in the Northwest corner of Henderson County, police were tipped off about the situation. Police then arrested the girl's mother Christina Martin, 35 and her boyfriend Martin Medrano, Jr., 49 and charged them with endangering a child and unlawful restraint. The two teens are now in custody of the state.

For four nights, in one of the coldest weeks of the year, a small medal shed was home for a 14 and 16 year old girl. On the same property sits two trailers, one the home of the teenagers' mother and the mother's boyfriend, the other neighbors say is where the teens were living.

"They just told me they didn't want to live in the house with their mom, and that they were going to stay in the shed until they got their house remodeled," said Jane Robertson, next door neighbor. Not knowing the girls condition, neighbors say they did not call authorities.

"As far as I know she went out there, and she checked on them and made sure everything was ok," said Kayla Cowling, next door neighbor.  After a phone call from a concerned citizen, police say they went to check on the teens. They say they found the girls locked in the shed with no heat and a waste basket for a bathroom.

"It was very cold and dark," said Assistant Chief Martha Decker of the Tool Police Department. "They had a light, but they were afraid to turn the light on because they were afraid of a fire. The mother would put them in the shed at 8:00 p.m. and they knew the pad lock was locked because they could hear it." Police also say, the mother told them the girls wanted to live there.

"She said kids will be kids and what can you do," said Decker. Neighbors say the oldest teen has a history of making up stories and did not treat her mother well. Cowling says she recently visited the teens mother in jail.

"She was saying that she felt bad about what happened, and that she knows what she did was wrong, and that she should never have let them go in there," said Cowling. Police are just glad someone called authorities.

"If they hadn't gotten involved, who knows how many nights they would have been out there," said Decker.

The boyfriend, Martin Medrano, Jr. who has bonded out of jail, says he did not know the girls were locked in the shed. He says they are not his children, and did not want to get involved.  Police say he should of done something to stop it, which makes him just as responsible.

Molly Reuter, reporting. mreuter@kltv.com