GOLDEN, Colo. (CBS4) – A grandmother is now in custody in connection with the death of her disabled grandson.
Family members say they had warned the state that Onesia Ann Najera had been neglecting her grandson, Angel Goodwin, who drowned in her bathtub in May.
Najera, 50, was found at a motel off Wadsworth Boulevard in Lakewood Wednesday night and arrested. She’s been charged with two counts of child abuse resulting in death.
Najera had custody of her five grandchildren.
Goodwin, 10, suffered with cerebral palsy. In May Najera called 911 saying her grandson was unresponsive. She claims she left him for just a minute in the bathtub. The child died the next day.
“There is no question that Angel needed special care and attention. Not only was that not given to him but not even the normal care for a healthy child and Ms. Najera will be held accountable for that,” said Jefferson County District Attorney Pete Weir.
Officers confirm they had been called to Najera’s apartment many times before and she was being investigated for child neglect before her grandson died.
According to arrest papers, there were more than 50 reports against Najera relating to four different children. A family member told detectives that Najera actually had “bragged about how many Social Services calls she had on her and how conniving she was about getting out of them.”
Angel’s paternal grandfather Manuel Alvarado said he is relieved Najera has been arrested but that Angel’s death could have been prevented. He and is wife tried to get custody of the children because they were concerned about Najera’s lifestyle. Now he has Angel’s two sisters living with him.
“They don’t understand death. There’s a lot of trauma they’ve been through the years. They’re confused but really glad that they’re with us because they’re safe,” said Alvarado.
Najera’s bond is set at $200,000.