Arizona Parents Charged with Child Abuse After Baby Dies, Siblings Found with Bugs in Their Ears
The couple's other children were found by police with bugs in their hair and ears in a Phoenix hotel
Police arrested a couple last week who now face multiple felony charges, including child abuse.
On Jan. 7, police arrested Donald Ferguson, 38, and Emmaline Ramirez, 29, at a Phoenix, Arizona, hotel where they were staying with their five children, according to KPNX.
The arrest came days after authorities had pronounced one of their children, a 1-month-old baby, dead following a 911 call from the parents who said the infant wasn’t breathing, KTVK reported.
Now under the care of the Department of Child Safety, their four other children — ages 1 month, 15 months, 4, and 6 — were also with the couple.
Representatives from the Phoenix Police Department did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
Per court documents obtained by KTVK, Ferguson said he watched Ramirez “perform CPR” on the baby after he called her to say the child was choking. They called emergency responders when the baby wasn’t breathing again.
The second 1-month-old, according to the outlet, experienced breathing difficulties during the firefighters’ response to the hotel. At a local hospital, doctors said the infant had “traumatic head injuries” that included “brain bleeds.”
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The three other children were found in bad conditions, according to the court documents, with lice in their hair, soiled diapers and “insects crawling out of their ears.”
According to the court documents, the 4-year-old child told police that Ferguson “threw” the baby that died on the ground, which Ramirez denied. An autopsy determined that the baby had no signs of “deadly traumatic injuries,” however, more medical testing is ongoing.
The man and woman have been charged with seven counts of felony child abuse. Ferguson was also charged with resisting arrest.
It was not immediately clear whether Ferguson and Ramirez have attorneys to contact for comment.
If you suspect child abuse, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to www.childhelp.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.