WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. (CBS4)– As the search continues for the woman who authorities believe is responsible for the death of her grandson, one of the boy’s relatives says his death could have been prevented.
Angel Goodwin, 10, died in May after he was found unresponsive in a bathtub.
Angel’s parental grandfather, Manuel Alvarado, said Angel didn’t have to die.
“He always had a smile. He is what love is about,” said Alvarado.
Angel’s maternal grandmother, Onesia Ann Najera, is on the run. She disappeared a week ago when police issued a warrant for her arrest.
Najera, 50, has been charged with two counts of child abuse resulting in death, both class two felonies. One of the charges is for an alleged pattern of abuse.
Najera called 911 saying that her grandson was unresponsive. When emergency crews responded to the apartment neighbors were performing CPR on the child. He was rushed to the hospital but died the next day.
Goodwin suffered from cerebral palsy and had developmental disabilities. He lived with Najera with his brothers and sisters.
Alvarado said he was constantly worried about all four grandchildren in Najera’s care.
“I don’t think they were getting cared for at all. I was constantly trying to watch that there was food, that they weren’t being abused. They were left home a lot,” said Alvarado.
Officers confirmed they have been called to the apartment in the 2600 block of Chase Street on several occasions. Najera was being investigated for child neglect before her grandson died. Fifty reports of abuse and neglect had been made against Najera involving at least five children.
Alvarado said he made many calls to child services about his concerns and tried to get custody of the children.
“At least 18 to social services about the care, environment and lifestyle,” said Alvarado.
A friend told police that Najera even bragged about how many times social service call she had and how she was able to get out of the investigations.
“She would just move and she knew how to work the system to not get the investigations followed through,” said Alvarado.
Najera is described as a Hispanic female, 50-years-old, 5-foot-5, about 124 pounds with brown hair. Anyone with any information is asked to call the Wheat Ridge Police Department at 303.237.2220.