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
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