Mother likely to face new charges after 7-year-old boy dies days after being found unresponsive in Sandy home

Reyna Elizabeth Flores-Rosales. Photo Courtesy: Salt Lake County

SANDY, Utah, Feb. 28, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — A 7-year-old boy who was found unresponsive and not breathing on the floor of a Sandy home Monday has died.

Sandy Police Sgt. Jason Nielsen confirmed to Gephardt Daily that the child passed away early Wednesday evening.

Nielsen said the boy’s mother, Elizabeth Flores-Rosales, 31, is currently charged with two counts of second-degree felony child abuse — inflict serious physical injury intentionally, and one count of third-degree felony endangerment of a child or elder adult.

Those charges are likely to be amended now that the child has died. Flores-Rosales could be facing a charge of child abuse homicide.

A probable cause statement from the 3rd District Court in Salt Lake County said Police and Fire were dispatched to an address in Sandy Monday. Flores-Rosales, the complainant, reported that her son had been in the shower for approximately one hour. She checked on him and found him unresponsive on the floor of the shower. Flores-Rosales reported that her son had previously been receiving treatment for burns.

Sandy Fire arrived on scene and found the boy on the floor of the living room; he was not breathing and had no pulse. They noted that Flores-Rosales and her 10-month-old infant were the only other ones home at the time.

“They noted multiple injuries and scars on his body in various stages of healing. The boy had older burns on parts of his body as well as what appeared to be scars or ligature marks on his neck. He had scrapes and cuts on his nose, ear, and hands and deeper wounds on his left leg, left hand and armpit … ”

The victim was also wet and extremely cold, the statement said.

CPR was initiated and the boy was transported to Alta View Hospital before being flown to Primary Children’s Hospital by helicopter. A CT scan was performed and significant head trauma was revealed. Doctors at Primary Children’s confirmed that the injuries to the head were caused by a person in one single event, the statement said. They ruled out an accident as a possible cause. They compared the damage and the bleeding on the brain to what is seen in shaken baby syndrome.

“Reyna told Sandy Police and Fire that the boy had ‘gone’ in his diaper,” the probable cause statement said. “She then put him in the shower to clean him up. Reyna said he was in the shower for nearly an hour and she checked on him occasionally. She went in to check on him again and found him slumped over in the seated position on the floor of the shower. He was not breathing. Reyna moved him to the front room and called 911.”

A small amount of blood was found on the floor of the shower, the statement said.

A witness told police that Flores-Rosales and her two children were the only people who lived in the home. That witness has reported Flores-Rosales to the Division of Child and Family Services in the past, because he suspected she was abusing the boy, who “constantly had new bruises, marks and injuries.” Another witness reported that he would often hear Flores-Rosales screaming and yelling.

During an interview at the hospital, Flores-Rosales confirmed that she is the only one that was with the boy and that nobody else has access to him.

According to witnesses and to Flores-Rosales herself, she was going to be moving out of her current residence Tuesday. Flores-Rosales does not have any family in Utah; her husband lives in California and her mother lives in South America.

She has a history of being a fugitive from justice and has been extradited in the past. She has also been charged with false information to police.

Flores-Rosales is being held in the Salt Lake County Jail without bail.

Nielsen said it’s unlikely the child’s name will be released by officials because of his age. He added that officers are having trouble locating the boy’s next of kin.


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