Albuquerque mother speaks out at vigil for 4-year-old son

Local News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – She says she did everything to save her son’s life. For the first time, the mother of a 4-year-old whose death is being investigated is speaking out.

“He came before myself. I used to walk to work when I lived in Rio Rancho from Unser to 528 so I could support him,” Krista Cruz said.

Tuesday night, Cruz spoke at a vigil for her son, 4-year-old James Dunklee-Cruz. He was found unresponsive at the Cinnamon Tree Apartments near Central and Louisiana last week.

Police and the Children, Youth, and Families Department (CYFD) are both investigating the death, but have not released any details. His mother says she was at work and left him with a couple she’s been living with.

She believes the man hurt James, but she doesn’t know-how. Cruz says she’s known the couple since they were kids.

“I trusted this person with my life, and like any mom, you think you’ve known this person for so long…they’re not going to hurt your child or do anything like this,” Cruz said.

Cruz claims she was working with CYFD to get childcare. CYFD says it’s investigating the case, but they can’t comment because it violates the state’s children’s code.

However, James’ grandpa says they took the boy last spring when Cruz was homeless and the boy was hungry and not well taken care of. Kevin Nelson says CYFD gave James back to Cruz despite his pleas not to.

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