Failed to Death: Adam Gonzales

4:36 PM, Nov 11, 2012   |    comments
Adam Gonzales
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 PDF Document: arrest affidavit gonzales  PDF Document: fatality gonzales lujan

Age: 9 mos.
Born: Oct 7, 2010
Died: Aug 5, 2011
Location: Denver
Suspect in death: Amanda Lujan, mother; Frances Garcia, mother's girlfriend

On Aug. 5, 2011, Lujan and her partner, Frances Garcia, told investigators that Adam woke up early that morning crying, according to an autopsy report.

Garcia got out of bed to give Adam a bottle. She placed it in his mouth, threw a blanket over his head to muffle his cries, closed the closet door and went back to sleep.

That morning, Lujan found Adam on the floor "unresponsive and cold," according to the report.

The blanket was still draped over his head.

During the two years prior to Adam's death, social services in Jefferson and Denver counties had a total of five contacts with Lujan, according to a state and county review of his death. In three of those referrals, callers were concerned that Lujan was not properly caring for her older son.

In one investigation, a doctor agreed with a caller and said that the little boy was not gaining enough weight. Two months later, caseworkers received a call alleging that Lujan "whacks" the 1-year-old on the head when he cries. Still the little boy was left with Lujan as she moved in and out of her mother's home and later became pregnant with Adam.

The morning Adam died, Lujan and Garcia could not find a phone to call paramedics, so Garcia ran to a neighbor's apartment and called 911. Adam was pronounced dead at the west Denver home.

Investigators found a bottle and other miscellaneous items scattered across the closet floor.

The cause of death remains undetermined, but asphyxia deaths can occur with no findings,the autopsy report said.

Only after Adam died did caseworkers find that his older half-brother had two black eyes and several suspicious bruises on his back. Another child in the home said that Garcia had hit the boy.

Lujan, 25, pleaded guilty to accessory to child abuse resulting in death, a felony. She will be sentenced on Dec. 6.

Garcia, 24, pleaded guilty to child abuse negligently causing death and was sentenced to four years in prison.

Read the Arrest Affidavit

Read the Fatality Review

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