A four-month-old baby died in Albuquerque, New Mexico Sunday after allegedly being physically and sexually abused by her mother’s boyfriend. The child died after two weeks on life support.
The man accused of killing the child is 19-year-old Elijah Fernandez. Fernandez was reportedly high on a synthetic cannabinoid drug – commonly referred to as Spice – when he abused the child. Police claim he caused serious brain and sexual trauma to the young girl. The child’s mother, Angelique Montano, was out doing laundry when the assault occurred.
"If I just waited to do laundry, stupid laundry, until the next morning none of this would of never [sic] happened, my daughter would've been OK," Montano said. "I don't know what triggered him to do something like this to an innocent baby. She doesn't know what's going on and she's helpless.”
According to police, Fernandez hit the child because he was “stressed” about Izabellah's incessant crying and his own lack of employment. He now faces charges of child abuse resulting in death and aggravated criminal sexual penetration. Montano may also face unspecified charges. Police believe she may have known about the assault for several days before enlisting medical help for her child.
The Children Youth and Families Department of New Mexico called the death a “tragedy.” The department said it had never received any previous allegations or referrals relating to abuse of the child.