Age: 7 mos.
Born: Dec 20, 2008
Died: Aug 1, 2009
Suspect in death: Delia Malouff, mother
Liquor bottles and marijuana were scattered around the Alamosa home when paramedics arrived. Dominic Hidalgo Jr. had been dead for some time, lying face down in the bed, before he was found by Malouff's friends. He was dirty, his stomach was completely empty and his penis was infected. Friends told authorities that when they found Dominic dead, Malouff was more concerned with throwing away liquor bottles before law enforcement arrived than with her dead baby.
Two months earlier, Malouff's father had told the Alamosa County Department of Human Services that the 16-year-old Malouff was using drugs and alcohol heavily. Dominic's paternal grandmother also expressed concerns, but social workers did not document what they were.
Social workers, who had investigated two other potential abuse or neglect reports connected to Malouff, went to her home and determined that Dominic looked healthy and happy. His mother's urine tested clean for alcohol and drugs. Social workers noted that the mother had participated in the parenting program and was receiving support from a women's resource center and a nurse partnership program. The assessment was closed.
The department still had an open case with Malouff at the time because she was considered an"out of control" minor. The weekend Dominic died, she was supposed to be under the supervision of her parents, but her father had gone to Las Vegas and her mother said she was working long hours and did not have time to stay with Malouff and the baby.
Dominic's father, Dominic Hidalgo, had gone to prison three months earlier.
Malouff was found guilty of negligent child abuse resulting in death and was sentenced to two years in juvenile detention.
State child-fatality reviewers found that county social workers erred in doing assessments relating to Malouff as an at-risk child rather than Malouff as a mother. The investigation also determined the same caseworker should not have been assigned to evaluate Dominic's death because that caseworker had previous involvement with others in the family.
Read the Arrest Affidavit
Read the Fatality Review