Tag Archives: Law Enforcement

Law Enforcement Seeing Rise In Reported Child Abuse

.jpg photo of Police Chief Avery Cook
It’s a problem that plagues every community, Child Abuse.

Bringing Awareness To Child Abuse

STARKVILLE, MS  –  It’s a problem that plagues every community, child abuse.

“A child is an innocent person and often times they really can’t be able to help themselves,” said West Point Police Chief Avery Cook.

Law enforcement said they’re seeing a rise in the number of reported child abuse cases.

Sally Kate Winters Family Services reports from 2016 to 2017, the organization saw a 73 percent increase in the number of child abuse interviews they conducted.

The abuse comes in different forms, and Sally Kate Winters is on the front-line in many of these investigations.

“Sally Kate Winters provides forensic interviews for child victims of abuse, so we do felony child abuse investigations and we interview kids who’ve been abused,” said Morgan Colley, Children’s Advocacy Center Advocate at Sally Kate Winters Family Services.

Now the organization is sharing its knowledge.

During a Child Abuse Investigation Training on Monday, law enforcement officers, child protective services, and first responders learned new techniques for spotting signs of mistreatment.

“We’re trying to help provide law enforcement with every tool that they need to investigate child abuse and child sexual crimes especially,” said Steven Woodruff, investigator for the district attorney’s office.  “We’re seeing an uptake in that in our community, and we don’t think that it’s just now starting to happen, we think that it’s just beginning to be reported more.”

“We’re doing two different presentations, one on corroborating evidence, so we have a child that discloses something and getting them to think about some of the minor details that a child might bring up in their testimony to make their story come alive,” said Jim Holler, who conducted Monday’s training session.  “This afternoon we’re doing one more investigative piece, especially physical abuse investigations and what the investigators can do to help the kids to help make their stories come alive.”

Holler is a former police chief with more than three decades of law enforcement experience.

He said the tools everyone learned during the training session are important and can help prosecutors be more effective.

“Just trying to put all the facts together and making sure that we’ve got the details, so we can bring a strong case to our prosecutors office, and hopefully that case will be strong enough to go proceed without a child having to testify,” said Holler.

Sally Kate Winters and the district attorney’s office co-sponsored the training session.

Single Moms Beware

.jpg photo of Child Abuse graphic
Who is babysitting your Children while you are at school or work?

Capital murder child abuse case highlights
who’s most vulnerable

SAN ANTONIO, TX  –  After sobering up at the hospital, the suspect police say was found intoxicated on a bed next to a four-year-old boy who had been beaten to death is now charged with capital murder.

Michael Arroyo, 32, is accused of murdering his girlfriend’s son, four-year-old Cash Briones.  The little boy had blunt force trauma to the head.

Arroyo is also charged with injuring his girlfriend’s two other children, ages one and three.

All three kids were left in his care February 16 at a Days Inn hotel on the city’s east side.

Arroyo is now being held on bonds worth more than a million dollars.

Child abuse cases rose sharply in Bexar County last year.  Counselors say single moms especially need to be aware of the dangers.

“The child is oftentimes left alone because the individual needs to work or needs to go to school or they’re trying to better themselves or just supply for their family,” says Randy McGibeny from ChildSafe.

He says that leaves room for someone who wants to do harm to gain a mother’s trust.

“If they’re capable of doing that, then oftentimes we’re going to open our doors to those individuals,” McGibeny says.

He says it’s incredibly common for a mother’s boyfriend to become the perpetrator.

“If there’s a situation where an individual that you’re dating or an individual that you’ve brought into your home is violent toward you – verbally or physically – know that the situation can progress,” McGibeny says.  “And oftentimes, if they’re violent toward you – they’re eventually going to be violent toward your children.”

Mother Knew Children Were Being Abused

.jpg photo of Child killed by abuse
Jaycieion Sanchez

Utah mother charged with Child Abuse after boyfriend allegedly kills her 1-year-old son

WEST VALLEY CITY, UT  –  The mother of a young boy who police say was killed by the woman’s 17-year-old boyfriend was charged Monday with abusing the child.

Utah Teen Charged After Toddler Death

Gena Nicole Sanchez, 22, is charged with two counts of child abuse, a second-degree felony, accusing her of seeing signs that her children were being abused but not doing anything about those signs, KSL reported.

Last week, Isaiah Weaver, 17, was charged as an adult with aggravated murder, a first-degree felony, in the death of 21-month-old Jaycieion Sanchez.

He is also charged with two counts of child abuse, a second-degree felony.

For about a month, police say Weaver, Sanchez and Sanchez’s three children were living with Sanchez’s mother in West Valley City.

On Jan. 16, police were called to the apartment on a report that Jaycieion was unconscious and unresponsive.

Police found the baby, who was cold to the touch, lying on his back on the bathroom floor with his eyes partially open and a large bruise on his cheek, according to charging documents.

He was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

A doctor at the hospital determined “it was likely that (Jaycieion) had been deceased for some time before emergency personnel had arrived,” the charges say.

Medical personnel observed bruising and scars “all over” the boy’s body as well as severe head trauma, according to the charges.

At the apartment, police found “fresh blood droplets on the walls, ceiling, and many other pieces of furniture in the bedroom shared by Weaver and Sanchez.”

A 5-year-old sibling of Jaycieion told police that Weaver, who watched the younger children while Sanchez went to work, would discipline them by heating a clothing hanger with a lighter and then spanking them with it, according to court documents.

Weaver, who “admitted that he had a bad temper,” also said he was throwing Jaycieion in the air “because he wanted him to be quiet,” and the boy hit his head on the ceiling, the charges said.

In addition, a few times in the days before his death while he was throwing Jaycieion, the boy landed with his head hitting the floor, police say the teen told them.

Sanchez said she “noticed Weaver seems jealous” of her relationship with Jaycieion, the charges said.

She said she watched as Weaver allegedly spanked Jaycieion’s bare bottom and one time kicked her son in the back.

She also observed marks on her 2-year-old child’s chest and watched Weaver hit him in the mouth once, the charges state.

The mother told police she “had a weird feeling” about going to work on Jan. 16, but went anyway “because they needed the money.”

Texas Child Predator Caught In Kansas

.jpg photo of child predator arrested in Kansas
Michael Lee Lopez, 55

Man wanted on Pflugerville charges of
Child Abuse arrested in Kansas

WICHITA, KS  –  A man wanted on numerous charges in Pflugerville was arrested Friday in Wichita, Kansas, according to the Pflugerville Police Department.

Police said Michael Lee Lopez, 55, of Wichita was arrested by the Wichita Police Department’s Exploited and Missing Child Unit at a local residence there.

Lopez was wanted by the Pflugerville Police Department on multiple warrants, including continuous sexual abuse of a child, aggravated sexual assault of a child, and indecency with a child by contact.

Police said these charges stem from incidents involving two different children and were reported to have occurred between 2014 and 2017 in Pflugerville and Temple, Texas.

Police said the man’s bond was set by a Travis County District Court judge at $175,000 and his extradition to Travis County has been approved.

Utah Teen Charged After Toddler Death

.jpg photo of child abuse graphic after babysitter charged in toddler death
17-year-old babysitter was booked for child abuse homicide.

Teen babysitter faces Child Abuse homicide charge after child dies in West Valley City

WEST VALLEY CITY, UT  –  A teenage babysitter has been booked into detention and faces a charge of child abuse homicide after a 21-month-old baby died Tuesday.

According to the West Valley City Police Department, 21-month-old Jaycieion Sanchez died after emergency units responded to a home near 4600 South and 2900 West in West Valley City Tuesday around noon.

The unconscious child was flown to a hospital, but despite medical efforts the child died.

The child was at home with a sibling and a babysitter at the time, and police stated they saw “multiple visible injuries that were not consistent with statements given by the babysitter regarding the circumstances of the child’s death.”

Police conducted an investigation and served a search warrant at the home, and authorities questioned the babysitter as well as the child’s mother and grandmother.

Ultimately, the 17-year-old babysitter was booked into Salt Lake Valley Detention for child abuse homicide.

No further details about the case were immediately available.  Fox 13 News will update this story as more details emerge.