Valencia County deputies investigating death of 3-month-old

New Mexico News

The Valencia County Sheriff’s Office is investigating what led up to the death of a three-month-old baby whose body was found inside a Los Lunas home.

Chief Deputy Jeff Noah said the sheriff’s office was at the home collecting evidence until late Monday night, while investigators interviewed the family to try to find out how the baby died.

“This is a tragic event that happened and effects everybody in the community,” Noah said.

A family friend called the department around 7:45 a.m. on Monday about the unresponsive baby.

Noah said the three-month-old did not have any obvious signs of trauma, but that the department is investigating the death as a crime and will wait on the medical investigator to determine the cause of death.

He said the parents,18-year-old Laricsa Sanchez and 19-year-old Jacob Rivera, are cooperating with authorities.

“They’ve been interviewed,” Noah explained. “We’ve been talking to them. They’re cooperating with the investigation. Until we have a cause of death, we can’t say what happened.”

As of Tuesday, no arrests have been made in the case.

According to court records, Sanchez was charged with child abuse and drug charges in September.

The criminal complaint states she and Rivera were pulled over in Los Lunas on Sept. 20 around 1 a.m. with their baby in the car, and the deputy noticed the smell of marijuana coming from the vehicle.
Rivera, who was driving, admitting to having a baggie of drugs on him and he was arrested for DWI, the complaint said.

Sanchez was arrested for having a marijuana pipe on her and later admitted to having meth.

Her aunt was called to take the baby.

The sheriff’s office expects the autopsy results to return by the end of the week.

Deputies are working with CYFD, which says it launched its own investigation into the case to see if there was any abuse or neglect.

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