120-pound 3-year-old will be sent back to parents

By MARY PEREA

Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – A 3-year-old girl who was taken into state custody because she weighed 120 pounds will eventually be returned to her parents under an agreement announced by a judge today.

Anamarie Martinez-Regino has been in custody of the Children, Youth and Families Department since Aug. 25.

A state social worker had said the girl would die unless she followed a special diet, exercised more and used a breathing machine when she slept. The state also accused the girl’s parents, Adela Martinez and Miguel Regino, of feeding her solid food after a doctor recommended a liquid diet.

The judge did not say when the girl would be returned to her parents.

Anamarie’s parents have defended their care of their only child. They have maintained that her weight problem is probably due to a medical condition, but doctors have been unable to find any such cause.

Under the agreement approved by state District Judge Tommy Jewell, they admitted no wrongdoing.

The judge said he has not seen Anamarie and could not discuss her emotional state or weight. At 120 pounds and 3 1/2feet tall, she was three times heavier and 50 percent taller than an average 3-year-old when she was taken into custody.

The judge said he hoped the agreement would mark an end to the case. However, a gag order on all sides will remain in place. The judge did not specify how long.

The New Mexico Supreme Court rejected an appeal by news organizations of the gag order. The news organizations, including The Associated Press, the Albuquerque Journal, The Albuquerque Tribune, KRQE-TV and KOAT-TV, have asked the Supreme Court to reconsider.

Copyright ©2000 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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