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Lapel cam footage shows June visit by police to house where child later died

Created: 02/05/2014 10:18 PM
By: Danielle Todesco, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Officers Gil Vigil and Scott McMurrough are under investigation for the way they handled an abuse call in June at an Albuquerque house.

In December, 9-year-old Omaree Varela was killed in that same house, allegedly by his own mother.

In June 2013, two APD officers responded to the home after a 911 dispatcher reported hearing a violent and verbally abusive phone call.

Synthia Varela Casaus answered the door. Synthia started explaining that any yelling was just her telling her young daughter to get back in her car seat after spilling a drink.

Several times throughout the call you can see Omaree Varela quietly watching the police question his mother.

At this point, the officers do have a transcription but haven't heard it for themselves.

The police communication log shows the dispatcher insisted they listen to the call, even offering to play it for them over the phone.

An officer asked about someone having yelled they wish they never had the child.

Synthia explains that it was her husband, Steve Casaus, saying he wishes she didn't have so many kids.

The officers talk with the family for over 11 minutes. They tell the officers everything seems okay.

As they leave, Synthia asked the officers if it's legal to have her son Omaree do yard work.

An officer replied, "It's good for you to work.  You'll get real strong too.  Alright, take care.  We'll see you guys."

Interim Chief Allan Banks told KOB Eyewitness News 4 he wished the officers would have heard that 911 call.

Synthia Varela Casaus is still being held in jail on a $100,000 bond.

No charges have been filed against Steve Casaus, the man heard yelling in the June 911 call.


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