October 15, 2013 - February 23, 2014
Angelique Montano left her
boyfriend, Elijah Fernandez,
with her daughter while she went to do laundry. Elijah and Angelique
had been dating since August of 2013 and on February 7, 2014, the day
she went to
laundry, she expected to be gone for about 30 minutes. Angelique got a
phone call from her mother telling her that Elijah had dropped
Izabellah and she needed to get home.
Izabellah's grandfather started doing CPR on her in an attempt to save
her life after seeing her laying lifeless on the bed. I applaud his
efforts, however, CPR should not be done on a bed, it should always be
done on a hard surface whenever possible. When Police arrived, they
took over for him. Police lapel cameras show what happened and while
they do not capture sound, they did show how chaotic things became
while Police tried to help Izabellah. Family members moved to the
downstairs of the home to allow Police to do their work, they waited to
hear what was going on. A defibrillator was used on her as well
in an attempt to save her, she was eventually taken to the hospital.
The video shows that Angelique and Elijah were questioned by Police and
that is when Elijah told Police that he had gone to get some diapers
and she rolled off of the bed. Angelique seemed to think it could be
"She moves a lot. She
really does move a lot"
Angelique said she had no reason
to believe that her boyfriend would do anything to harm her daughter.
Izabellah's grandmother told Police that she was not even able to roll
over by herself and that Angelique had told her about the bruises on
Izabellah's face had come from the being in her crib. In the video,
Elijah is seen sitting in an area away from the rest of the family,
bent over, holding his head in his hands.
Elijah Fernandez, who was 19 years old at the time was arrested and
charged with sexually assaulting Izabellah. Bail was set for $100,000.
in his first appearance before the judge. Elijah admitted to police
that he had slapped Izabellah, but Police say there was so much trauma
to her genitalia that they were sure he had sexually assaulted the four
month old baby. Izabellah had injuries to her head and face as well as
the sexual trauma.
Izabellah was taken to the hospital and put on life support and
Angelique was hopeful that her life would be saved:
"She is on it because
that is what is helping her stay alive and stay with us. There are
a lot of things going on right now and I can't understand it. If I just
waited to laundry,
stupid laundry, until the next morning none of this would have never
daughter would've been okay. I do blame myself because it's not like I
and let him do it, or I know it was going to happen"
A neighbor and one man who said he knows Elijah had this to say:
"I just can't believe
that anyone could do something like that to such an innocent person"
kind of knew the guy and I didn't know he was like that or nothing but
I guess at the same
he kind of put off a weird vibe, you know"
that she and
Elijah had both smoked Spice in the past, but had stopped at some point
though Elijah had recently started smoking it again:
"When he was on
probation that's when he started smoking it, but he just recently
again. I'm trying to figure out it that's what triggered him to doing
this or it if it was
else that I didn't know about. He's quiet, he doesn't even talk to me"
Angelique said that she had never seen any signs that he was abusing
her daughter up to this point adding that bruises on her face were
something that happened while she was in her crib:
"I don't know what
triggered him to do something like this to an innocent baby. She
going on and she's helpless"
The Children, Youth And
Families Department had been a part of the
lives of these people since the birth of
Izabellah who tested positive for THC, which is a component of
Marijuana. There were two more visits from CYFD, one because
someone reported that Izabellah was underweight and the other because
she missed a Dr. appointment, however, Angelique said that she was in
the process of rescheduling with a new Doctor.
Angelique's son was removed
from the home and placed with his
biological father and she said she had not seen or talked to Elijah:
"I haven't talked to
Elijah. I would ask, I don't know why, why, why would you do this to my
told me that if anybody hurt me he would kill them. So why is he still
alive? Why did he hurt my
girl why did he tough her? I just want to know why he did it"
Elijah eventually said that he had slapped Izabellah on the face
because she wouldn't stop crying, though it had already been determined
by a sexual assault Nurse that she had been sexually abused.
Izabellah died and In a television interview, Officer Simon Drobik said
that the details of what happened to Izabellah were so graphic that he
would not be able to say them on air:
"That baby, because of
the trauma to her body, was rushed to the hospital right away
and a full investigation was launched. I literally cannot explain to
you what happened
because it was so graphic you will not be able to air the charges"
It was suspected that Elijah
was high when the abuse happened and though he was saying she fell off
of the bed, Police knew it wasn't what had happened:
"We realized because of
the trauma to the baby, that that is not what
happened or transpired"
Izabellah died after being on life support for two weeks and when she
died, the charge against Elijah was added to and he was then
facing a charge of abuse resulting in death. It wasn't yet determined
if Angelique would be facing any charges in the death of her daughter.
Below is part of the arrest information:
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occurred in the state of New Mexico