Athena Angeles
April 9, 2008  - November 23, 2011

More than a month before her death, a Pediatrician had reported that Athena had been injured, having bruises on her face. The Department Of Families And Children took no action to help the three year old little girl, we all know where this is headed and we know that this was not the first time the family had trouble with DFC. Records would show that this family had been visited many times by the child welfare workers.

On October 18, 2011, before the Doctor had filed a complaint, a visit was made the home child's home where it was noted that she had two black eyes and her face was so swollen that she could not open them, the social worker suggested that Rosa take her daughter to the clinic which she did, resulting in the Doctor calling DFC. In DFC records was information about that visit stating that Rosa had claimed that she was watching the children play in their room and that Athena had tripped over a toy and hit her nose on the bed railing, Rosa said that Athena got right up and continued to play and she was not crying at all. In October, the case worker had talked to DFC saying that she was concerned with the lack of supervision of the children in the home and said that Rosa had changed her story about what had happened to her daughter.

As it usually does, that turned out to be a lie and it was later found out that Rosa was covering up for her boyfriend , Fredy Alexander Chingo Riz, who was 32 years old at the time. Fredy would later admit that while Rosa was at work one day, he was alone with the children and the report states: During dinner, Athena refused to eat. Fredy stated that he lost his patience with Athena and brought her into her bedroom. He then punched Athena in the forehead at the bridge of her nose with his knuckles and left her in the bedroom.

Athena was back in the hospital on November 22 where she was treated for cuts on her head that had required staples. Less than 24 hours later, Athena was once again brought to the hospital showing signs of trauma, bruising on her abdomen and internal bleeding. Fredy had punched Athena in the stomach and ribs, many times.

Fredy was arrested and charged with manslaughter. At the time of his arrest, Alexander also admitted to hitting Athena on another occasion which sent her to the hospital with a cut on her head and then once again hitting her on the day of her death. Rosa G. Diaz-Mendez was also arrested and charged with manslaughter.

After his arrest, it was widely reported that Fredy was in the United States illegally and was a citizen of Guatemala who had been living and working here illegally for at least six years prior to the death of Athena. Assistant State's Attorney, Edward Azzar, wanted Fredy to be held on $2. million dollars in bond saying:

"He's here illegally. He definitely has motivation to exit this country. If he got here, he definitely has
the ability to leave"

Defense Attorney Ernest Green told the Judge that Fredy had worked at his job for years and that he had no way of posting bond. Judge Angelo. L. dos Santos set a $1.5 million bond.

Later, Joette Katz, the commissioner of the DFC, stated that there would be new hospital guidelines that would make it mandatory for Doctors to look at all previous records and do a full body examination of all children who are brought in with injuries. Joette said that the death of Athena was a terrible tragedy:

"My heart goes out to the family for the terrible loss of this little girl. I am not interested either
casting blame or making excuses. Since this terrible tragedy occurred, I have worked hard with
our partners in the medical and provider communities to improve how we together can respond
to children who have been victimized. The best way I know to honor this little girl is to commit our-
selves to working together to make improvements to how we respond from this point forward.
are systems, the medical, the private provider and the child protections systems, that all
work in a coordinated, integrated fashion in the best interest of children. We are committed
improving that cooperative work so that we can better serve children and families in the future"

In December of 2011, a crowd of more than 300 people, family, friends and strangers, gathered for a candle light vigil to honor the memory of Athena:

"She loved to sing and dance and play and she especially loved to be loved"

Mary Jane Crotty - Teacher

"Nobody should ever go through that. It was horrible"
Keila Nunez

"I think it hit our community strongly because really that should never happen to a little girl and I
guess, mostly, the Latin Community, cause she was a little part of us"
Niurka Diaz

In October of 2012, Hugo Angeles wanted to file a lawsuit for $25 million against the state of Connecticut saying that they had failed to protect his daughter. Another lawsuit against the state was filed on behalf of his remaining daughter, Artemisa, who had also been abused by Fredy and was now living with her father.

UPDATE: November 9, 2014

In July of 2014, Hugo Angeles was waiting to see if he was going to be able to file his lawsuit, Attorney General George Jepsen was trying to block depositions and testimony that would be given by Tammy Bailey, DCF's lead investigator, saying that her statements are confidential and she would only be able to testify if Athena's mother and her mother's boyfriend gave permission.

A lot would show that on four different days, Athena showed up with serious injuries that were new including black eyes, a swollen face, bruises on her ears and her nose and a scab on her lip. A fifth incident involved Athena's sister having bruises and Athena crying and vomiting. Hugo's Lawyers had been unable to do a deposition with Tammy Bailey:

"The victims father wants the public to have the whole story. DCF does not want the public to
have the whole story. They don't want to have to explain why they didn't take this child and her
sister out of the household much soon"
Robert Reardon

George Jepsen said that DCF records are confidential:

"State law strictly prohibits the disclosure of agency records, including the oral summary
of the records, as sought through the deposition in this case"

Robert Reardon said that both Fredy and Rosa would most likely use their Fifth Amendment right to not incriminate themselves if they were asked to waive confidentiality in their cases, so Robert was asking for a Superior Court Judge to make an order for Tammy Bailey to testify even if a waiver is not given.

Robert and his partner Joseph Barnes wanted to make the interview with Tammy part of their case. A 14 page report was made and it was considered critical to the case citing the failure of DCF Caseworkers to interview Fredy during the time period when DCF was contacting the family. In this case, DCF had not followed their own policy that states all family members should be interviewed.

Thank you to Cat for sending me this update.

This page was created on May 25, 2014
Death Occurred in the state of Connecticut

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