Details released in death of 4-month-old in Midvale; police say mother struck the baby during fight with husband
MIDVALE, Utah — Court documents released in 3rd District Court in Salt Lake City reveal additional details in the death of a four-month-old boy who was found dead Friday in a Midvale motel.
Friday evening the infant’s parents, Jose Ramirez, 21 Jessica Lujan, 20 were booked into jail for child abuse homicide, a first-degree felony.
An affidavit of probable cause filed for Lujan in 3rd District Court in Salt Lake City stated that detectives, who were at the Motel 6 on 7263 South Catalpa Street on an unrelated incident, were informed that a call had been made, saying an infant was not breathing and possibly suffered cardiac or respiratory arrest.
Officers with the Unified Police Department responded to the room immediately, where they found the infant with bruising on the bridge of his nose going up to his forehead, bruising on his eye and forehead and an abrasion or laceration on the side of his neck, the affidavit said.
The child’s bone structure was also clearly visible “on the outside of his person,” according to the affidavit. He was pronounced deceased shortly after officers responded to the motel room.
During the course of the investigation, the affidavit said that Lujan was transported to the sheriff’s office to be interviewed, where during the course of the interview, she admitted to striking the infant several times and scratching him with her fingernails because she was in a fight with Ramirez, and the baby would not stop screaming.
Lujan also told police, the affidavit said, that she placed the boy into his car seat upside down and went to sleep, and Ramirez tried to care for him. Lujan stated she allegedly awoke and heard Ramirez trying to quiet the infant, who was making noises, but she went back to sleep. The second time she woke up, Lujan told police she found the infant unconscious and not breathing.
Another affidavit of probable cause released in 3rd District Court said that during an interview with police, Ramirez stated the following occurred following a fight with Lujan:
“Jose Ramirez told your affiant that he both heard and witnessed the infant’s mother J.L. throw the infant into the car seat upside down. Jose Ramirez told your affiant that he then began caring for the child while the infant’s mother J.L. went to sleep. Jose Ramirez stated that during the time he was caring for the child he did not call 911 despite having several options for doing so to get help for the now unresponsive child.
“Jose Ramirez stated that the child eventually fell a sleep so he placed him back into the car seat and went to sleep himself. Jose Ramirez stated that the next day in the afternoon he was awakened and made a ware that the child was unresponsive but stated that he did not call 911, instead he began CPR. Eventually a call to 911 was made by J.L., she did not speak with 911, setting the phone down and leaving the room. Jose Ramirez picked up the phone and spoke with 911, he then remained on scene until help arrived.”
Support is available 24/7 in Utah for those dealing with domestic violence. Visit the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition online or call 1-800-897-5465 for resources and assistance. In an emergency, dial 911.