Portales couple charged with child abuse

Freedom New Mexico

A Portales couple is in jail, charged with abusing their 10-year-old daughter.

Mern and Athena Shepard, both 33 years old, are charged with felony abuse of a child, according to a press release from Portales police.

They are being held at the Roosevelt County Detention Center on $5,000 bonds.

A school referral and notification by the Children, Youth and Families Department spurred police to begin an investigation, and after an interview with Oasis, forensic interview specialists, it was determined the child had been mistreated and was malnourished, the release said.

Portales police Lt. Todd Moore said the child was functioning and attending school but her physical needs were not being met.