Mother charged in infant son's death - Albuquerque Journal

Mother charged in infant son’s death

A Valencia County woman has been charged with murder in the death of her 1-month-old son. He died less than a week after the mother called emergency dispatch seeking help because she was overwhelmed and was concerned she may hurt her children, according to authorities.

The state Children, Youth and Families Department was notified of the earlier call, but the children apparently remained in the home, according to the Valencia County Sheriff’s Office.

The infant’s mother, Kiria Lynn Milton, 30, is facing an open count of murder.

CYFD spokesman Charlie Moore-Pabst said Monday evening that the agency is reviewing the incident of last week; however, he noted that CYFD usually works collaboratively with law enforcement in cases of possible abuse or neglect, but “by state law, law enforcement is the only entity that can remove a child from a home in an emergency situation.”

Valencia County sheriff’s deputies responded to a call about the unattended death of an infant at a home on Clearview Drive in El Cerro Mission just after 8 a.m. Monday.

The child’s mother called 911 and when deputies arrived, they found the boy, who had signs of blunt force trauma and was unresponsive, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office.

The child was pronounced dead at the scene by the Office of the Medical Investigator. Valencia County Sheriff Denise Vigil said OMI was still determining the cause of death.

While at the home Monday morning, deputies encountered a 4-year-old boy who was transported to University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque for a precautionary evaluation.

CYFD was called to the scene for assistance and the 4-year-old was taken into state custody on a 48-hour hold after release from UNMH.

“It is with great sadness that we have been informed of the loss of life of a 1-month-old infant,” Moore-Pabst said. “The Children, Youth and Families Department will proceed to protect the surviving sibling and support law enforcement’s investigation of the matter. We will continue to be diligent in our work to support surviving victims and protect vulnerable children and families.”

Prior to being charged, the mother was being detained for questioning by the the sheriff’s office Criminal Investigations Division, the agency said. The children’s father had been contacted and was returning home from an out-of state business trip.

Vigil said sheriff’s deputies and CYFD responded to a call at the home last week. She said the mother of the children called the emergency dispatch center, saying she wanted help with her children.

“She basically said she felt overwhelmed and did not want to hurt her children,” the sheriff said. “Deputies performed a mental health check and when they arrived they did contact CYFD.”

The mother was transported for a mental health evaluation, and the father was deemed a safe person to be with the children and the mother by CYFD, the sheriff said.

“We did the things we were supposed to do and CYFD did not keep us informed of their plan with the family,” Vigil said of last week’s incident. “Unfortunately, we’re here today with this result and having to figure out the in-betweens.”

Journal staff writer Rick Nathanson contributed to this report.

 


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