Toddler's death still under investigation - Albuquerque Journal

Toddler’s death still under investigation

Injuries to a fatally hurt child were inconsistent with the statements told to police at the scene, and an investigation into the child’s death is ongoing, according to court documents.

Albuquerque police last week executed a search warrant at the Cinnamon Tree Apartments, on the 7200 block of Central SE, the same place where authorities were called last Tuesday night on a report that a 4-year-old boy was unconscious and not breathing. The boy was taken to University of New Mexico Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Court documents only identify him as JD.

A search warrant approved last week said the child’s mother, Krista Cruz, left JD with Zerrick Martinez and his two daughters when Cruz went to work at a Safeway gas station. She arrived at work at 9:50 p.m., and less than 15 minutes later police were called to her apartment complex for the unresponsive child.

After JD was taken to the hospital, Martinez told officers he tripped on an unknown object and fell knee-first directly on JD, according to the affidavit for search warrant. Martinez said the boy was lying on the ground and Martinez slipped when he was grabbing underwear from a nearby dresser.

The warrant states that JD got up after the fall and the two went to the bathroom because of JD’s ear, which had some blood on it from a previous incident.

When walking to the bathroom, JD said he didn’t feel well and went to go lie in bed. Martinez said he noticed JD was breathing funny and he immediately started CPR and called Cruz and another woman and told them to quickly come home, police wrote in the affidavit.

When they arrived home, Martinez called 911, according to the affidavit.

Cruz told police that when she left for work her son’s only injury was a burn on his right ear from lying next to a heater, police wrote.

A detective in the Crimes Against Children Unit said that JD “displayed numerous injuries which were inconsistent with the statements provided,” according to the warrant.

The warrant, which was filed in state district court, gave officers permission to take clothing, bedding, towels and other items “which could indicate death or great bodily harm.” Police were also looking for weapons, tools or other instruments capable of causing blunt-force trauma or burns.

No criminal charges have been filed in connection with JD’s death.

Gilbert Gallegos, a police spokesman, has said that police are investigating and the Children, Youth and Families Department is involved in the matter. Gallegos said Monday there were no updates in the case.

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