NEEDS ASSESSMENT:

Examples of Colorado ONLY Cases (all of these statements have been taken from the headlines regarding actual cases) and speak for these selves as to the need for Child Advocates.  The Children’s last names have been specifically withheld, the names of the offending adults are of public record and have not been withheld herein.

On March 9th, seven-year-old LoReyna died of starvation and physical abuse. Unbelievably, at age seven LoReyna weighed only 35 lbs. She was living with her aunt Genevieve Barea and the aunt’s boyfriend Dan Partch. Prior to the child’s death, Weld County Human Services had received reports of concern about LoReyna’s welfare.

On December 6th, seven-year-old Zoe of Johnstown was allegedly killed by her 16-year-old half sister Heather Trujillo and Heather’s 17-year-old boyfriend Lamar Roberts. The alleged perpetrators were said to have been imitating the video game Mortal Kombat in their assault on Zoe. In Zoe’s case, too, concerns about the well-being of the child had been communicated to Weld County Human Services prior to the child’s murder.

On September 21st, three-year-old Neveah disappeared in Denver. Her body was found three days later. Neveah had been living with her mother Miriam Gallegos and mother’s boyfriend, Angel Ray Montoya. Human Services involvement? In July 2006, medical evidence confirmed that Neveah had been sexually abused, most likely by Mr. Montoya, but Denver Human Services apparently did not take the appropriate step of removing the child from the clearly injurious environment. Mr. Montoya was a registered sex offender – the question must also be asked, why was he allowed to live in a home with a young child?

On December 30th, four-month-old Luz died as a result of physical abuse, with Isidoro Valdez-Ruelas, 24, the alleged perpetrator. The Denver Department of Human Services had investigated the child’s situation approximately one month prior to Luz’s death, because there were allegations that Valdez-Ruelas was dropping the infant to the floor. It has been reported that on December 18th a caseworker said the case was “high risk,” however inexplicably on December 26th the agency determined there were no safety concerns. Two days later, while in the care of the alleged perpetrator, Luz was taken to Children’s Hospital with bleeding on the brain. She died two days later.

Heard enough? We’re not done. On April 7th, 2007, three-year-old Jolyn died in Arapahoe County in the care of her mother, Susie Ida Quartey, 34. The child had been beaten, stabbed and sexually assaulted. Ms. Quartey recently entered a plea of not guilty.

On October 31st, seven-year-old Rosalia died in LaJunta in the care of her father Salvador Quintana, 23, and stepmother Carmen Marquez, 28. The court files were sealed but were unsealed on January 9th. The coroner has not yet issued a finding on the cause of death.

In 2007 there were also several cases of severe child abuse in Colorado which did not result in death, two in Fremont County.

On July 16th a two-year-old boy in a Florence home was discovered by police officers with severe injuries. The boy was transported to Children’s Hospital where medical staff said it was the worst case of child abuse they had ever seen.  The child was badly bruised, malnourished and dehydrated, had a closed head injury, a burn, compression fractures, and had bite marks on his penis. The boy had been in the care of his mother, Mandy May Bates, 20, and mother’s boyfriend Ronald Jason Francis, 33.

On October 17th a two-year-old boy was severely injured in the care of his mother Monica Ellison and mother’s boyfriend Jeromy Pirraglia in Cañon City.  The boy was placed on life support in a Colorado Springs hospital, had surgery to remove half his brain, and is now in foster care. As a result of the abuse he is blind and cannot walk.

And in Denver on October 13th a three-year-old girl was discovered who was malnourished and dehydrated. She weighed less than 22 lbs., the average weight of a one-year-old. The girl had been in the care of her mother Shaunee Hall, 23, and a roommate Tina Marie Houcks, 36.