Saturday, June 7, 2008

CPS got abuse report before boy's death

RYN GARGULINSKI
Tucson Citizen
More light has been shed on the suspected child abuse death of 5-month-old Jayher Holguin, including Child Protective Services' several attempts to visit the boy's family before his death, according to a CPS report released Friday.
Jayher was found dead in his mother's South Side home Jan. 19 after he was left in the care of her boyfriend while she was at work, a Tucson police spokesman said.
The mother's boyfriend, Alejandro A. Alvarez, 21, was subsequently arrested and booked into Pima County Jail on suspicion of first-degree murder and child abuse, Sgt. Fabian Pacheco said.
CPS said it received a report of Jayher being abused on Dec. 18, about a month before his death, also while under Alvarez's care.
The report said that Alvarez had reportedly been drinking that day and that "he gets violent when he drinks."
Tucson police Officer Frank Amado could neither confirm nor deny reports of Alvarez being under the influence of alcohol during the Dec. 18 or Jan. 19 incidents.
The Dec. 18 abuse report was from University Medical Center, which contacted CPS when Jayher was brought in with a bruise on his thigh, CPS said.
The report stated Alvarez admitted picking up the child by the thighs and grabbing one side harder than the other.
No other injuries were noted by the hospital, which also performed an X-ray of Jayher's leg, CPS said.
CPS said it had attempted to visit the family's house, in the 6200 block of South Campbell Avenue, on Dec. 19, Dec. 21 and Jan. 9. but no one was home.
An investigator spoke briefly with Jayher's mother Dec. 24, CPS said, when she called the number left on a business card in her door.
The two were supposed to talk again Jan. 2 to set up a home visit, the report said, but she did not return the investigator's call.
CPS' last attempt to reach the family was Jan. 15, when an investigator left a voice message that went unreturned, the report said.
The next time CPS received information regarding Jayher was Jan. 20, the report said, after the child was dead.
CPS and Tucson police continue to investigate the infant's death and Alvarez remains in the Pima County Jail on $750,000 bail.