Statesville mother charged with murder weeks after infant son dies

Statesville mother charged with murder weeks after infant son dies

IREDELL COUNTY, N.C. — A Statesville woman has been arrested and charged with the murder of her 4-month-old son, according to the Iredell County sheriff.

Sheriff Darren Campbell said that Erika Renee Altamirano, 34, was charged with felony second-degree murder and felony child abuse.

Campbell said in a release that deputies were called to Davis Regional Medical Center around 9 p.m. on June 27, after a 4-month-old child had arrived at the hospital and was unresponsive.

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The child was then flown to Brenner’s Children’s Hospital at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in critical condition. A CT scan revealed that the boy had suffered a serious head injury.

Doctors diagnosed the child with a significant skull fracture to the back of his head, as well as other injuries, according to Campbell, who also said the doctors determined the injuries were consistent with “nonaccidental trauma.”

On July 4, the boy died from his injuries. An autopsy determined his cause of death was blunt force trauma.

Detectives spoke with several witnesses and family members and learned the child’s father had arrived home from work to find the boy breathing but unresponsive. He said the child’s mother, Altamirano, was asleep in the bed with the baby.

Campbell said the father immediately called for help and took the child to the hospital.

Detectives were able to talk with witnesses, including Altamirano, at the hospital but nobody said they knew how the boy was injured.

Investigators then got a warrant and searched the home, where they found numerous items of evidence, including an empty liquor bottle in the trash can.

According to Campbell, detectives found that the boy was being watched all day by his mother and that she admitted to having drunk alcohol during the day. She told investigators she could not remember what happened to the boy.

Detectives learned that Altamirano had gone to the ABC liquor store earlier that day, where she bought alcohol.

Deputies arrested her on Tuesday after she was released from a medical facility.

Altamirano was given a $500,000 bond and will face a judge Wednesday.