LOS LUNAS, N.M. (KRQE) – Prosecutors are asking a judge to keep the mother accused of killing her one-month-old locked up until trial. Kiria Milton, 30, is charged with child abuse resulting in death. Deputies say the one-month-old, Waylyn Padilla, had severe bruising on his face and head and puncture wounds on his feet and torso.
- Investigation continues in death of 1-month-old in Valencia County
- Questions remain over death of 1-month-old in Valencia County
- Mother charged with murder after death of 1-month-old in Valencia County
In their pre-trial detention motion, prosecutors point to a November 8 incident when Milton called 911 after having a mental breakdown then told a 911 dispatcher she doesn’t want to hurt her children but she is not right in the head. It also mentions two past domestic violence changes against Milton. She will remain in custody, for now, until a judge rules on the pre-trial detention motion.
Meanwhile, there are almost of questions about what CYFD did and didn’t do in this case. CYFD was called on Nov. 8 after Milton made that first call to 911. Video from the sheriff’s department shows the CYFD worker handing the kids over to their father that same day after the death, it was clear from a phone call between a detective and the social worker, she had no idea mom was back in the home and hadn’t checked in on the family and was relying on the dad to let her know if Milton returned to the home.
KRQE News 13 had the opportunity to ask the new CYFD secretary about the apparent failures. She just took over in August. The Children’s Code does prevent the agency from sharing specific information until the investigation into the child’s death is complete but the secretary did address the questions.
“We certainly have a protocol in place whereby there is a safety assessment and instrument a risk assessment that is done and a matrix followed that guides social workers cannot comment on specifics in this particular case I cannot say why or why not the social worker took specific action with respect to this father or this mother but I can say that we are examining that process and it is important for us to determine what happens in each and every case where CYFD comes in – are we doing enough to ensure the safety of the children? More importantly, if we have a safety plan, are we following up with that safety plan?” said Barbara Vigil, CYFD secretary.
KRQE also learned since Wednesday, that the children’s father is a convicted sex offender. He was convicted in 2003 for criminal sexual contact of a minor under 13. KRQE is working to find out the relationship between him and the victim. KRQE reported that dad had obtained a restraining order against Milton when their four-year-old was a baby saying she was violent but he later dropped it.
Milton had lost custody of two of her other kids with the other father saying she was mentally unstable and a drug user. Did the social worker know that or look into their background before deciding to give the children back to dad that day?
That is all part of the investigation. “The people of New Mexico but more importantly the children in CYFD care or contact are owed a duty of diligence on part of the department to determine what weaknesses are but how we are going to fix them. I can assure you and your viewers that I will do everything in my power that we will examine weaknesses so this doesn’t happen again,” said Vigil.
The secretary did say she wants to reach out to experts and partners in other states to take an in-depth look at our system to find the weaknesses. She says they’ve also asked for more money to hire more social workers because their caseload, right now, is extremely high.