Invisible Children

LoReyna Barea

Content note: Case narratives include descriptions of severe violence inflicted on children, including abuse and neglect, sexual violence, torture, and murder, as well as mentions of suicide and domestic violence. They also include photos of victims and perpetrators of violence.


LoReyna died of physical abuse and lack of medical care. Investigators responding to the scene found her covered in cuts and bruises, her body severely dehydrated and underweight to the point of being emaciated. LoReyna’s legal guardians, her aunt and uncle, said they had no idea where her injuries came from and insisted that she was a happy child. Yet the forensic pathologist who conducted the girl’s autopsy told detectives that “There was no doubt in my mind that if she (LoReyna) had been seen by a doctor, she would still be alive.” LoReyna’s aunt and uncle were arrested and charged with child abuse and LoReyna’s four brothers were put in foster care.

LoReyna and her siblings were homeschooled.

A complaint was called in to social services prior to LoReyna’s death, alleging that the girl was being isolated by her guardians and that her behavior was “not normal.” However, this complaint was screened out because it did not allege abuse. A review prompted by several high profile child abuse cases found the screening out of this tip a violation of state law, as the standard is “suspected abuse.”

Date: March 9, 2007
Location: Evans, Colorado

Document Date
Police investigate death of girl, 7,found underweight, bruised 2007-03-17
Frail girl, 7, lost love of life before death, aunt says 2007-03-22
Police arrest caregivers in 7-year-old’s death in March 2007-05-24
7-year-old girl died of abuse, neglect 2007-05-25
Complete arrest affidavit in the death of 7-year-old Loreyna Barea 2007-05-25