When a five-month-old baby died from lack of food, the parents were arrested. The infant weighed only five pounds at the time of death. And now the parents are facing the consequences for ignoring the needs of their little one. When the medical examiner performed an autopsy on the infant, who died on February 27, they found that the child did not die from blunt-force trauma or other unnatural causes. No trauma was found, but the examiner was concerned given the infant’s low body weight.
When the baby was first born, records indicate that it weighed six pounds and two ounces. While it is usual for a newborn to lose some of its body weight shortly after birth, five months later the child should certainly weigh more than it did when it first entered the world.
Five-month-old babies often weight about 15 to 16 pounds depending on their length and sex.
The coroner also noticed that the infant had white gums. This indicates that the child was dehydrated, severely.
The child’s mother, 24-year-old Loreana Martinez, called Las Vegas Metro Police on February 25 to report that her baby had quit breather. First responders rushed to her residence and hurried the tiny baby to Sunrise Hospital. The child died two days later.
Medical personnel noticed during transport that the child looked malnourished. Because the paramedics could see the infant’s bones and rib cage and spinal cord, they were worried. The infant’s bones were poking out of its body.
The mother had taken the baby to the doctor in December 2017. The medical care provider told Martinez that her baby was not thriving because she was too small. At that time, the infant weighed about 9 pounds. So in a matter of two months, the child wasted away, losing nearly half of its already minute body weight.
The doctor scheduled Martinez in for a follow-up two weeks later. But the negligent mom skipped the appointments missing the dates on January 1, January 29, and February 13.
When the infant died, an officer arrived at Martinez’s home and arrested her and the baby’s 29-year-old father, Anthony Oceja. They were the prime suspects related to the little one’s death.
Martinez claimed that she tried feeding the baby solid foods. She would give the infant pureed bananas and pureed squash. But the infant became constipated and did not take to the solids. Instead, Martinez went back to giving the child breast milk.
During the last 48 hours of the baby’s life, Martinez told police officers that the infant “shout out” as she burped the baby and that his stool turned black as night. She claimed that she breastfed the baby numerous times each day for 45-60 minutes per feeding.
Las Vegas police arrived at the home of Martinez and Oceja to find four dogs. Three pit bulls in their collection were also malnourished.
And when officers looked at the pictures around the house, they saw that Martinez’s other children were also malnourished when they were young.
But the parents do not withhold food from themselves. When the baby stopped breathing, they claimed to be in the kitchen eating their dinner.
The parents are now in police custody at Clark County Detention Center. They face charges that include murder, child abuse, and neglect. They also face three counts of willful intent to maim, torture or kill an animal because of their mistreated dogs.
Martinez’s two other children were removed to protective custody. They are currently undergoing a medical examination to ensure their health has not been compromised.
The family’s neglected dogs are now in the care of Clark County Animal Control.