POSTED: Friday, May 18, 2012 - 9:30pm
UPDATED: Friday, May 18, 2012 - 9:34pm
LAS CRUCES, NM (KTSM) — A 19-month old child was airlifted to UMC to be treated for compound fractures and bruises believed to be the result of child abuse by a young Las Cruces couple.
Mother, Victoria Lynn Gutierrez, 20, and boyfriend Juan M. Morales, 26, were placed behind bars early Thursday morning on charges of negligence and child abuse. An investigation revealed the child's injuries occured after Gutierrez left her alone with Morales to smoke a cigarette next door.
Police were alerted to the child's alleged abuse after responding to a fight between two men at a home on Mesquite Street. They were told that one of the men became enraged with Morales after learning of the child's condition.
Officers found the child lying on a bed with multiple bruises and a swollen arm that was disfigured. The baby had 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 – were a result of long-term child abuse.
Las Cruces firefighters provided initial treatment but the girl was subsequently transported to a local hospital and then airlifted to El Paso.