Las Cruces Police have arrested a mother and her boyfriend after the woman’s 19-month-old child was found to have compound fractures to both arms and other bruises believed to be the result of child abuse.
Victoria Lynn Gutierrez, 20, and Juan M. Morales, 26, were arrested early Thursday morning and are being held at the Dona Ana County Detention Center. Gutierrez faces one count of negligent child abuse while Morales is charged with one count of intentional child abuse resulting in great bodily harm.
Gutierrez’s 19-month-old daughter was airlifted to University Medical Center of El Paso with open fractures to both arms, bruises on her chest and right temple, and abrasions to both legs, knees and to her forehead. Medical professionals believe that young girl’s injuries – some that were recently inflicted and others that appeared to be healing – are a result of long-term child abuse.
Shortly before 11 p.m. Wednesday, May 16, Las Cruces Police were called to 818 N. Mesquite St. where Morales and another man were involved in an affray. The fight was over by the time police arrived but officers were told that one of the men became enraged after learning of Morales’ alleged involvement in abusing a child at 814 N. Mesquite St.
Officers entered the apartment at 814 N. Mesquite St., later identified as Gutierrez’s residence, and found the child lying on a bed with multiple bruises and a swollen arm that was disfigured. Las Cruces firefighters provided initial treatment but the girl was subsequently transported to a local hospital and then airlifted to El Paso.
Detectives learned that the child’s most-recent injuries were inflicted when Gutierrez left her daughter alone with Morales while she went to a neighbor’s home for a cigarette. No one sought medical help for the young girl and police were not aware of her injuries until around 30 minutes later when someone called 911 to report the affray.
Bond for Morales was set at $50,000 cash while Gutierrez is being held on $10,000 bond.