Las Cruces mom allegedly obstructed child abuse investigation, police say

Zonia Isabel Trujillo collage[39505]_1559341387009.PNG.jpg

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KTSM) — The mother of 6-year-old girl allegedly obstructed in the child abuse investigation where her boyfriend was arrested, Las Cruces Police said.

Zonia Isabel Trujillo, 32, is charged with obstruction an investigation of child abuse and failure to report child abuse, the Las Cruces Police Department said in a news release.

This comes following the arrest of Karnell Payne, 28, in April on suspicion of negligent child abuse.

Officers were called to the couple’s home on April 25 after the grandmother of the 6-year-old notices a large bruise on the child’s face.

The girl and Payne had just returned from an after-school event, police said. 

Payne told investigators that he spanked the girl for misbehaving and the bruise to the face was from the seatbelt buckle, however, it was in shape of a hand, police said.

When questioned further, Payne told investigators, “Ain’t no one did nothing to that f—ing (expletive) little girl,” police said.

Trujillo allegedly told officers that she was “fine” with Payne discipline of her children and was not worried about the injury. 

“When told Payne would be charged with child abuse, Trujillo appeared to be more concerned about Payne’s welfare than her own children’s,” police said in a news release.

Since then, the 6-year-old girl and her two siblings have been removed from the house and are now in safe placement, police said. 

Trujillo has been booked into the Dona Ana County Detention Center and is being held without bond until she can have a hearing.

Payne was released from custody on May 1. 

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