Courts

Sep 16, 2013 8:12 PM by Andy Koen

Court records suggest pattern of abuse

PUEBLO - Disturbing new details of a child abuse case in Pueblo may help explain why bail for the two adults charged was set at $1 million dollars each. The children, who were between the ages of 2-9 during the investigation, suffered broken bones and serious burns among other injuries.

Eliazar Dolores Ramos, 45, and Ofelia Melendez Augustin, 39, waived having the felony child abuse charges against them read aloud in court Monday. Neither made a formal plea. Instead, their attorney requested an extension so that they could first see the prosecutor's evidence.

Court documents obtained by News 5 state Melendez-Augustin is the aunt of three of the children four children living at the home on east US 50 in Pueblo County. She and Ramos took legal custody of them last year when their mother was deported to Mexico on drug charges. A fourth child was reportedly adopted by Dolores Ramos.

The first report of abuse came on July 27, 2012 when deputies were called to a Head Start in response to one of the children having cuts on the chin, forehead and back of the head. The daycare contacted the Department of Social Services and the child was taken to the hospital for treatment.

The deputy also reported bruises on the child's foot, back, elbow, knee, wrist and hip. Melendez-Augustin told the deputy the child hit his or her head on a headboard of a bed and that a bottle of bleach fell on their foot.

On August 5, 2012 a Pueblo Police Officer responded to St. Mary Corwin Hospital after hospital staff reported one the children came in with a broken femur allegedly suffered after falling from a slide. A full body scan was performed on the child and revealed a previously broken arm that was in the healing stages. Ofelia told the doctors she was unaware of the previous injury.

A sheriff's deputy went to the hospital on December 31, 2012 when one of the children had been admitted with second and third degree burns on the left side of his or her face. Melendez-Augustin explained that she was giving the children a bath the previous day and had stepped out for minute to get toothpaste. She ran back to the room when she heard screams and found the child with a red face. She told the deputies she put onions on the burn but came to the hospital the next day when their face was blistered with skin coming off.

The children were taken from Ofelia on March 11, 2013 when deputies were called to the family home at the Meadowbrook Mobile Home by a worker with the Department of Social Services. One child had severe burns their buttocks, 4 inches in diameter. Ofelia told deputies she had poured bleach on a stroller the child sleep on. However, the emergency room doctor reported that the injury was not consistent with chemical burns.

The next day, deputies were called to Avondale Elementary School when teachers notices bruises on another child's face. The child had not removed from the home by the Department of Social Services the previous day. The child told the deputy that Dolores Ramos had hit him or her in the face multiple times with a belt. Dolores Ramos told the deputy he was playing with the belt and that hit the child in the face.

In May, the children were interviewed at the Child Advocacy Center in the presence of their social services case worker, their Guardian Ad-litem, Dr. Christine Nevin-Woods and Pueblo County Sheriff's Deputy Ben Martinez. During that process, one the children used a doll and a toy cooking stove in the interview room to demonstrate how "Eliazar" had put their brother or sister on a stove burner.

A new hearing for Dolores-Ramos and Melendez Augustin is scheduled for October 28. Both are currently in the United States illegally. Dolores Ramos has also been known to use the name Javier Gomez-Diaz.

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