All three girls -- ages 11, 13 and 15 -- told the woman their mother had left them unattended at home on June 3, the last time they had seen her.
The girls had been attending school by day, then going to the neighbor’s house to eat and to shower, the Express-News reports.
San Antonio Police officers examined the house the children were staying in and found spoiled food, trash, insects and animal feces on the floor, WOAI reports.
The house was reportedly without air-conditioning, and was extremely hot inside. The outdoor temperature was 98 degrees at the time, WOAI reports. The water had also been turned off, so the girls sought help from neighbors.
The water had been turned off by the city water department on May 21 for non-payment, WOAI reports.
The girls were reportedly sleeping in the one bedroom of the house that had a working ceiling fan.
The 15-year-old girl told police that Lorraine Sue Garza, 45, who had adopted all three of the girls, took the family’s only cellphone when she left them on June 3.
Lorraine Sue Garza was arrested on Friday, June 18, and charged with two counts of child abandonment.
The girls were removed from the home by the Texas Dept. of Family and Protective Services.