Update: Details of 5-year-old girl's injuries before her death
LAS CRUCES - A 5-year-old Anthony girl has succumbed to injuries police say she received at the hands of her mother.
Angel - whose last name is unknown - was bruised back and front and head to toe, had suffered bleeding inside her brain and had at least one broken rib when she was brought, unconscious, to Providence Hospital in El Paso on Sunday, according to District Attorney Susana Martinez.
The little girl's wounds also included more than a dozen puncture wounds, what appeared to be a human bite mark on her ankle and scratch marks on her chest, Martinez said. For several days, Angel remained in a coma, in critical condition as doctors tried - unsuccessfully - to relieve the pressure caused by the bleeding in her brain. On Thursday, Angel was removed from life support when her brain activity ceased, Martinez said.
Jessica Barron, 27, remains incarcerated at the Do-a Ana County Detention Center with a bond - increased late Thursday evening by Magistrate Judge Joseph Guillory - set at $100,000 cash.
Barron will be charged today with intentional child abuse resulting in death, conviction on which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. She had also previously been charged with tampering with evidence in the case.
The alleged abuse bears a visceral similarity with that in the case
of Baby Brianna Lopez, who died July 19, 2002, covered in bruises and 15 human bite marks, after having been raped, her skull fractured in two places, her ribs, legs and an arm broken.
But Martinez cautioned against a comparison.
"Brianna was worse because she was five and a half months, had multiple broken bones and, the evidence was clear, she was abused her entire life," she said, adding after a long pause, "You really can't compare one with another. They're both dead - and unnecessarily so. Two young lives were ended, unnecessarily and brutally."
Authorities were called to the hospital soon after Angel arrived Sunday and subsequently arrested Angel's mother, who had remained at home on Par Two Lane in Anthony, N.M. An ambulance hadn't been called until the father of Barron's youngest daughter, had taken Angel to the home of his grown daughter, who immediately called 911, Martinez said.
Barron's two other children, Angel's older brother and her younger half-sister, were immediately taken into state custody Sunday.
It is unclear whether others will be criminally charged in Angel's death. Investigators expect to discover the full extent of Angel's injuries when her body is transported to Albuquerque for autopsy today.
"We know that the healing of the bruises were at different stages," Martinez said. "She had a broken (shinbone) within the last year. It was a spiral fracture. It certainly raises a red flag."
Sheriff's investigators plan to hold a news conference on the case today.