Police searching for child-abuse suspect

By Andy Jackson: CNJ staff writer

Police are searching for a 42-year-old Clovis man in connection with the death of an infant 13 months ago.

An arrest warrant was issued Nov. 9 for Leroy Jaramillo for child abuse leading to the death of a 10-month-old Clovis baby in his care at a Clovis motel, according to a release Tuesday from 9th Judicial District Attorney Matt Chandler.

Charges were filed after a lengthy investigation by Clovis police detectives and agents from the DA’s office, Chandler said.

“It took lots of different witness interviews over several months that established probable cause to have the arrest warrant signed,” Chandler said.

“I think it’s important to bring justice to the baby by finding the individual that caused his brain injury and death.”

Cristyan Ibarra died Oct. 15, 2004, at Covenant Medical Center in Lubbock from brain hemorrhaging and other closed-head injuries, officials have said.

Ibarra’s mother, Maria Ibarra, took her son to Plains Regional Medical Center and told the doctor her son fell off the bed onto the floor and was having seizures, the warrant said.

The physician later called police to file a child abuse report because the child’s injuries indicated he had been shaken, not that he had fallen from the bed, the warrant said.

Maria Ibarra also told police her son fell off a bed while in Jaramillo’s care. She told police Cristyan was healthy when she left the baby with Jaramillo while she picked up diapers. She said Jaramillo called her and told her to return to the motel because he was scared the baby had fallen from the bed and was throwing up, the warrant said.

An autopsy by the Lubbock County Medical examiner determined the baby’s death was a homicide, according to the arrest warrant.

Jaramillo could face 18 years in prison if he’s convicted. He will be held on a $100,000 cash bond if he’s caught, the release said.

Jaramillo had not been located by police as of Tuesday night, Chandler said.