ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Albuquerque police have released a new police report that describes allegations of abuse against Omaree Varela by his mother Sylvia Varela-Casaus in December 2012.
Varela-Casaus was not charged in connection with the alleged abuse after a police officer could find only one witness and surveillance video was inconclusive. However, the officer did alert the state Children, Youth and Families Department and ask paramedics to examine then-8-year-old Omaree Varela, according to the police report provided by APD.
Varela-Casaus has been charged with child abuse resulting in death and various related charges in Omaree’s death, after admitting she “kicked him wrong” in late December. She initially told police he fell off a toy horse.
About a year before, a witness called police to say he saw Varela-Casaus hit her young son, Omaree, while the pair were in the Cricket wireless store on Menaul Boulevard. The officer arrived and questioned employees, several of whom said that Varela-Casuas slapped her son.
The officer then questioned Varela-Casaus at her home. She told the officer that her son had substantial behavioral disabilities but that she did not strike him.
The officer then took Omaree aside and the child said he had been misbehaving inside the store. He also said that his mother did not strike him, but he “provided (the officer) with few details”, the officer wrote in the report.
The witness who made the initial 911 call later told the officer that he saw Varela-Casaus punching the child in the stomach and his left thigh.
When paramedics arrived at the scene, they examined the boy for visible injuries but found none.
The officer then reviewed surveillance video at the Cricket store, but he said the video was grainy and from too far away to tell if the abuse occurred.
However, the officer did contact CYFD, according to the report. The officer also said he took lapel camera video of the “majority of” his investigation. APD did not immediately respond to requests for the video.
An APD spokeswoman said the department discovered the additional report during a full investigation into Omaree’s death. This is the third reported contact between APD and the boy before his death, and it came two months after the boy claimed at his school that he had been beaten by his mother with a cell phone.