Cops: Couple leaves toddler during heist

September 26, 2008 3:09:13 PM PDT
Police say a couple left their 2-year-old son alone in a hotel room while they tried to burglarized homes in Weehawken. ''It's just an uncomfortable feeling when somebody comes into your home and takes stuff,'' burglary victim James Mack said.

Police say Gabriel Espino and Marsha Castillio are responsible for burglarizing Mack's home. They are now suspects in connection with at least seven burglaries.

There's a twist. Police say Marsha Castillio left her 2-year-old boy alone in a motel room while she and her 22-year-old companion committed the burglaries.

And there's more.

''It appears there may be a pattern of abuse on this child. Physical abuse,'' said Weehawkin's Public Safety Director Jeff Welz.

After the couple was arrested, child welfare officials tookl custody of the child.

Police say he had bruises, scars, even bed bug bites.

''It was a heartbreaking experience to see the little boy watching television all alone,'' Det. Ignazio Mitolo said.

Police found the child at the Park Avenue Hotel on 48th street after picking up the suspects. A neighborhood resident spotted a burglary in progress and called the cops.

After taking Espino into custody along with Castillo. police said they admitted to several burglaries where they stole laptops, cell phones and mp3 players.

But that doesn't sound like the couple the motel clerk says he knew.

''Good normal people. Good normal people,'' Alex Norman said.

People who allegedly had a darker side, breaking into homes nearby while apparently leaving the little boy to fend for himself. The couple offered one excuse, police said.

''Being that he lost his job. They had no rent for the room and to support the child they resorted to burglaries,'' Det. Thomas Glackin said.

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