POSTED: Tuesday, December 31, 2013 - 5:08pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, February 12, 2014 - 10:45am
Albuquerque, NM — Family members want answers after the death of a 9 year-old boy, allegedly at the hands of his own mother. The boy's aunt says the boy was living a life of pain, Alana Grimstad reports.
A distraught aunt doesn't understand how this could happen, Sylvia Marquez, "I'll never understand how you could do this to your baby boy."
How could her 9 year-old nephew be allowed to stay with his mother, "He's been through hell and back."
A woman who family members say is abusive and a woman the judicial system shows is dangerous
Sylvia Marquez, "We told the system, 'What's it gonna take? For him to literally be killed before somebody takes action?' And now I'm living my worst nightmare because it came true."
But state protective custody officials won't answer any questions about this family, Jared Rounsville, CYFD Protective Services, "I can't speak to anything about the case."
Saying state law prohibits them from talking about it, even though a mother is facing charges for beating and kicking her 9 year-old son to death.
Jared Rounsville, "I can assure the public and this family that we have acted in the scope of our authority to be able to look into the allegations and to ensure that a child is safe."
Albuquerque police say the family has been on the radar of the Children, Youth and Families Department for years. The mother, Synthia Varela-Casaus, has a long criminal history.
Court documents tell us 9 year-old Omaree Varela was found with cigarette burns and bite marks all over his body, injuries to his eyes and head, and bruises both fresh and old.
Police Officer, "I'm shocked and horrified at the brutality, it's horrible."
CYFD officials can't say if or when they investigated the mother in the past, but say if they ever see any evidence of abuse like that, they take immediate action to keep the child safe, which includes working to get the child out of the house.
Jared Rounsville, "This is a tragic incident that no child should have to go through and no family should have to go through."
The boy's mother, Synthia Varela-Casaus, is facing charges for allegedly beating and kicking him to death.
Her other two children, ages 5 and 2, are in protective custody.