Failed to Death: Zoe Garcia

8:49 PM, Nov 15, 2012   |    comments
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Age: 7 yrs.
Born: Nov 10, 2000
Died: Dec 6, 2007
Location: Johnstown
Suspect in death: Heather Trujillio, Zoe's sister; Lamar Roberts, Heather's boyfriend

There had been 14 child abuse and neglect complaints made to at least five Colorado counties and another in New Mexico about Trujillo's home.

One of Zoe's younger siblings had a skull fracture in the summer of 2006. The following year, Zoe told caseworkers that, "My sister beats me up a lot." Trujillo worked nights and used methamphetamine.

But an assessment by Weld County social workers was "inconclusive" for abuse.

In the months leading up to Zoe's death, a Weld County caseworker documented bruises on her arms, shoulders and face. Some were yellow and fading; others were dark and fresh.

Then someone complained in October 2007 to the county that Roberts poked the kids in the head with a stick, threw them in the air but didn't catch them, and tried to get them to use marijuana. Heather and Lamar had gotten Zoe drunk.

When a caseworker went to the home Nov. 5, Trujillo was asleep. She denied drug use. The assessment was founded for a lack of supervision, minor severity.

Zoe died Dec. 6 before a long-term caseworker was assigned to the family.

On that day, a drunken Lamar hit, kicked and body slammed the child for letting Heather in the house even though she didn't get the vodka he had demanded, according to records.

When Lamar kicked Zoe from behind, she fell to the floor and didn't get up. Soon after, she wasn't breathing and died.

She had more than 20 bruises on her body, a broken wrist, bleeding and swelling in the brain, and other internal bleeding. Lamar later told his friends that his hands were registered as lethal weapons.

Heather pleaded guilty to child abuse negligently causing death and was sentenced to 18 years in prison. That sentence will be suspended if she completes a 6-year youth-offender program. Lamar was sentenced to 36 years in prison for a conviction of child abuse causing death.

Read the Police Reports from Zoe's death 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Read the Fatality Review

 

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