Warrants issued for parents of Salt Lake child who suffered multiple broken ribs

File photo: Max Pixel

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Feb. 9, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — Arrest warrants have been issued for the parents of a Salt Lake City child who was found at a 2017 doctor’s appointment to have eight to 11 broken ribs.

Maria Arvizu, 40, and Jose Hernandez, 38, are both wanted on suspicion of child abuse, a second-degree felony.

In addition, Arvizu is wanted on suspicion of tampering with a witness, a third-degree felony; and of obstructing justice, a class A misdemeanor.

According to identical probable cause statements for Arvizu and Hernandez, the victim, identified in court papers as K.S., was examined at a well-child visit in 2017, when K.S. was 19 months old, then referred to Dr. Corey Rood, Safe and Healthy Families, for a follow-up.

“Dr. Rood observed bruising to K.S.’s ‘face bilaterally, right flank, central lower back, bilateral shins, right posterior thigh and patterned left anterior thigh,'” the statements say, adding that there was insufficient accidental trauma history to explain some of the bruises.

A skeletal scan found that K.S. had eight to 11 rib fractures, which were spread out “and are indicative of blunt force trauma or squeezing,” Rood said.

The probable cause statement estimates the child abuse took place between Aug. 15 and Sept. 15 of 2017. The family resides in the area of 1400 South and 1000 West, Salt Lake City, the statement says.

The statement says that C.S.C., the older brother of K.S., “said that his mom and dad, Arvizu and Hernandez, hit him and his brother, K.S.

“C.S.C. said that Arvizu practiced interviewing him so he would know what to say when he was interviewed. Arvizu asked him questions about K.S.’s accident and he would have to give her answers about K.S. falling. C.S.C. said nobody saw K.S. fall, and that Arvizu told him that K.S. fell off something and got hurt.”

On Oct. 10, 2017, in a post-Miranda interview, Arvizu said she and Hernandez “only spanked K.S. on the butt,” the statements say.

Arvizu said she never noticed K.S. in pain, and said he had not fallen or been injured in a way that could cause broken ribs, adding that she and Hernandez never hurt K.S., the statement said.

In a post-Miranda interview 16 days later, Arvizu said Hernandez had started to mistreat K.S., and the boy would start to cry and look scared when he was put next to his father. Arvizu stated that Hernandez abused her as well, the probable cause statement says.

Arvizu also told police that about a month earlier, she had heard K.S. when Hernandez took him into the bathroom to bathe him. After hearing a banging sound, she tried to open the door, but found it locked, she told Salt Lake City Police investigators.

Arvizu said that Hernandez opened the door about three minutes later, and the next day, K.S. did not want to eat, and began losing weight.

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