Mother of CYFD caregiver accused of neglect says children were sick previously
January 05, 2018 10:20 PM
VALENCIA COUNTY – A CYFD Respite caregiver is in jail facing charges of child neglect resulting in death after deputies say they found an 11-month-old foster child in her care dead.
Panicked, Stephanie Crownover called 911 early Sunday morning to report a baby who she was babysitting, Ariza Barreras, wasn’t breathing. The baby was in her care for three days.
Crownover’s mother, Eileen Brubaker, told KOB that her daughter did everything she could to take care of the three children.
“She had watched these children time and time before. It’s not the first time,” Brubaker said. “She didn’t abuse them. She didn’t abuse them. She was so busy changing diapers."
Ariza’s foster mother, Vanessa Dominquez, was in Las Vegas, Nevada visiting family at the time. Deputies say on Dec. 28, Dominquez left Ariza and her two siblings with Crownover.
“They brought them without shoes and they had severe diarrhea,” Brubaker said. “They did not get it at my daughter’s house. You don’t just get it instantly.”
Ariza’s biological parents, Alicia Patterson and Richard Barreras, conducted their weekly visit with the children on Dec. 29 at Crownover’s home. Barreras complained the children were not bathed and that Ariza had severe diaper rash and a swollen vagina.
He contacted their facilitator to report the issues.
KOB reached out to Patterson Friday. She declined to comment, only saying she has hired an attorney.
When deputies saw Ariza’s lifeless body Sunday morning at Crownover’s Belen home, they say they discovered a mark on her shoulder and neck as well as hemorrhaging in her eyes.
According to CYFD, a doctor diagnosed Ariza with a respiratory syncytial virus two weeks prior to being in Crownover’s care.
Crownover told deputies that all three children had severe cases of diarrhea and running noses when they were dropped off by their foster parent. Crownover told deputies she buckled Ariza in her car seat in her bedroom to sleep because her foster parents didn’t bring a crib.
Crownover allegedly later found Ariza slumped forward and her arm stuck in the shoulder strap.
Deputies asked Crownover why she didn’t take the three children to the doctor for their running noses and diarrhea. She told them it was too cold outside to visit the doctor and she didn’t want to subject the kids to harsh weather.
In the meantime, she fed the children bananas and rice in an effort to stop the diarrhea, but it didn’t work.
While searching Crownover’s home, deputies say they found dried dog feces and urine on the floor, as well as dishes with human food strewn about the home. Loose pills also were discovered under a bed.
According to CYFD, the children were taken out of their biological parents’ custody due to alleged drug use, homelessness and sexual abuse.
Updated: January 05, 2018 10:20 PM
Created: January 05, 2018 08:57 PM
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