July 30, 2014

Man charged with aggravated child abuse

A Big Pine Key man was arrested Tuesday, charged with aggravated child abuse.

On June 28th, Major Crimes Detective Manuel Cuervo was notified of a six week old baby transported to Lower Keys hospital after the mother called 911 to say the child had stopped breathing.

23 year old Humberto Rojas was playing video games and babysitting at a home on Donna Road, Big Pine Key when the infant stopped breathing. Rojas said the child had swallowed a baby wipe and had stopped breathing as he'd made efforts to remove the wipe from the baby's throat. He called the child's mother to tell her what happened and she subsequently called 911.

Doctors at Lower Keys hospital said the child's injuries appeared to be suspicious; they said the injuries were not consistent with the story told by Rojas. The baby was subsequently airlifted to Miami Children's Hospital for treatment, in critical condition.

Detective Cuervo continued to investigate the case, also consulting with physicians at Miami Children's Hospital, the University of Miami's Child Protection team, with the child's own physician and with the Department of Children and Families.

The mother was extensively interviewed, along with others who had cared for the child.

A warrant was issued for Rojas as a result of the investigation. On Tuesday, he was charged with aggravated child abuse.

It was determined, through this extensive investigation, that the child was developmentally incapable of swallowing a baby wipe on his own. The child's injuries  included multiple rib fractures, a fractured leg and foot and lung contusions. These injuries were reportedly not consistent with the story told by the suspect to detectives and others who interviewed him.

The baby's mother said she'd bathed him the day before and did not notice any such injuries. The baby had been seen by his doctor on June 19th. The doctor said she did not see any such injuries at that time.

At last report the baby was recovering from his injuries at Miami Children's Hospital.

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