Judge keeps mother accused in death of child behind bars pending CYFD custody hearing

Crime

LOS LUNAS, N.M. (KRQE) –  The mother accused of murdering her one-month-old is being held until the judge can make sure that she will not have contact with her four-year-old. Kiria Milton was in court in Valencia County on Monday morning.


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Last week, deputies responded to Milton’s home after she called 911. Deputies say they found her one-month-old dead in his bassinet and Milton’s four-year-old son hiding on his bed.

Authorities say it appeared the infant had been dead for several hours and Milton was hysterical, saying someone needed to come to take the baby. Responding deputies and detectives took the stand saying the baby had about six long, narrow bruises on his body and what appeared to be two cuts.

“There was signs of apparent blunt force trauma to the head and the face of the baby. The baby appeared very pale. There was no rise and fall of the chest,” said Valencia County Detective Nick Lyle. They also said there was a screwdriver with a red stain found in the room where the baby was found but were clear when questioned there is no proof it was involved in the incident at all.

A week before the infant’s death, Milton had also called 911 saying she feared she would hurt her kids and needed help. CYFD was informed of this call and said the kids could be released safely to their dad. After that call, investigators said Milton was diagnosed with postpartum depression and released from the hospital. But, released phone calls from the Sheriff’s Office show CYFD was unaware Milton was released and left home alone with the kids. A week later, the infant was dead.

Milton’s four-year-old has been in CYFD custody since the incident but it’s unclear if he will stay in the state’s custody or be released to the dad, which could then give Milton access to him. Judge James Lawrence Sanchez said Milton must be held behind bars until a custody decision is made in the pending CYFD case.

“I’m really concerned about the lack of explanation for the cause of the child’s death. And I am terrified for that four-year-old, quite frankly,” said Judge Sanchez. “I think there’s clear and convincing evidence of a risk of harm to a four-year-old child that I cannot…I can’t ignore.”

Court documents show Milton lost custody of two of her other kids with another father years earlier because of reported mental health and drug issues.

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