Criminal complaint reveals new details in foster child's death | KOB 4

Criminal complaint reveals new details in foster child's death

Marian Camacho
January 05, 2018 06:50 AM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – New details have emerged in the death of a foster child in Belen, N.M. 


It all started when police were called to a home in Belen Sunday morning in regards to an unresponsive 11-month-old girl.

When deputies arrived, emergency medical personnel were working to resuscitate the child but their efforts were unsuccessful.

A criminal complaint details what a deputy on scene experienced at the home of 55-year-old Respite caregiver Stephanie Crownover. He said, “the house had animal feces in several rooms, dirty floors, animal urine, what smelled like rotten food coming from the fridge, fecal matter in the toilet, full litter boxes next to the children, and several dirty food bowls throughout the house.”

A detective on scene also noted that the home was cold, and that the heater was not on.

According to the complaint, Crownover told deputies she was watching the children while their foster mother was out of town.

She stated that all of the children had been sick recently and when asked why she hadn’t taken them to the hospital, Crownover told detectives she had tried home remedies but they were unsuccessful. When asked again why then she didn’t take the children to a doctor she said “I know, I guess I was just neglectful and should have taken the children to the doctors.”

Crownover told detectives she had put the infant in her car seat to sleep and buckled the lap belt. She said she then put a blanket over the infant and put the car seat next to a space heater.  She found her unresponsive the next morning.

While at the scene, a CYFD official with the children on her case load, informed deputies that the infant had been infected with RSV recently.

According to the criminal complaint, an autopsy has been completed on the infant at which time the pathologist did not find any signs of trauma or of natural diseases.  The pathologist did tell detectives that the infant “could have had pneumonia and with the cold weather in the home it may have aggravated it.”

In an interview with the biological parents of the child, detectives noted that the parents said they had a recent visitation with the children and noticed that they were unbathed and not wearing any shoes or socks.

The father told detectives that at that time, he changed the infant's diaper and noticed severe diaper rash.  The parents told detectives that they had reported the conditions of the children to the facilitator and was told they would report it. 

Crownover has been arrested and faces three counts of child abuse, including one resulting in death.


Marian Camacho

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