Infant death raises questions about CYFD, APD response

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Police arrested a 31-year-old woman after she allegedly brought her dead five-month-old girl to her parents’ house last Friday.

Officers say Christina Bennett allegedly refused to hand the girl to officers attempting to help her.

Bennett first appeared in court Wednesday. She will be staying behind bars, without bail, until her trial.

The baby’s death is under investigation, so there are no charges right now related to the child’s death.

Six days before the baby died, authorities allegedly had a felony warrant out for Bennett’s arrest.

She faced charges of child abuse, aggravated fleeing a law enforcement officer and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

This happened after Bennett was found allegedly shoplifting at a Circle K in northeast Albuquerque. 

According to court documents, she quickly drove away from the Circle K with the baby girl in her lap.

CYFD said they were unaware of Bennett’s child abuse charges prior to her arrest for the baby’s death:

“The only report about the April 15 child abuse allegation, that the department is aware of, was the one that the Statewide Central Intake received immediately after the notification of the death.

“Following the death of the infant, Acting Secretary Teresa Casados met with Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina, Deputy Chief of Investigative Bureau Cecily Barker, and Deputy Commander Jay Ratliff to discuss how the two departments could work together to understand the circumstances surrounding the death and how the two entities could better protect the state’s most vulnerable populations.”

The department also mentioned the pending investigation involving the dead baby.

APD Chief Harold Medina expressed his concerns about the situation.

“There are things that we all should have done better and there should have been better communication,” Medina said. “We do have plans to work toward some type of review. So that we could look at cases and always improve on how we could have done things better.”