Friday, July 18, 2014




Reported by: Nicole Beyer


Last Update: 5:47 am

GOODYEAR, AZ- An investigation is underway after a 3-year-old girl died in foster care last month.

“I just know the baby didn’t go to sleep and wrap a blanket around her head,” said her grandmother, Vicky Shepard. “They said the blanket was wrapped around her head, in her mouth.”

Goodyear Police got a call about 11 a.m. on July 30 from a foster home near Yuma Steet and Estrella Parkway saying 3-year-old Apollonia Yanez wasn’t breathing after she went down for a nap.

“She’s beautiful, young, intelligent,” said her dad, Eddie Yanez.

The Assistant to the Chief in Goodyear, John Rowan, confirmed four other kids were inside the home when the 3-year-old was found unconscious. They included the victim’s 9-year-old sister and 2-year-old brother along with the foster parents’ biological children.

Paramedics attempted CPR, but Rowan said the 3-year-old later died after being transported to West Valley Hospital.

The victim’s dad, Eddie Yanez, said he suspects foul play because there’s “no way possible that this could happen to an innocent 3-year-old under the State of Arizona foster care.”

Yanez’s biggest concern is not just finding out if this was murder, but also getting his two other children back.

He said he’s clean now and ready to care for them, but he’s worried this won’t be a priority because his family doesn’t have the money to fight this.

“I made a thousand phone calls and not one person ever got back to me,” said Shepard. “I just want answers, that’s all I want.”

Shepard said for her a key piece to the investigation is that her 3-year-old granddaughter hated blankets.

“She would kick ‘em off, fight ‘em off or cry, she didn’t like them,” she said.

Goodyear Police are not calling the death suspicious and say they’re waiting for the autopsy results. They’re still interviewing the foster parents.

But Rowan confirms all of the children, including the foster parents’ biological children, have been removed from the home which he said is standard during this type of death investigation.

Stay with ABC 15 and for developments.

Post a Comment