Graphic reports shed light on Tucson toddler's fatal injuries & CPS' surprising role
9OYS has learned Arizona's Child Protective Services had this family, even this little girl, on its radar but, essentially, left her to fend for herself. Video by kgun9.com
Reporter: Maggie Vespa
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - There are troubling new details in last week's brutal, beating death of a Tucson toddler.
Police tell 9OYS 20 month-old Adyson Gaxiola died of blunt force trauma to the head, among other gruesome injuries.
Detectives say all of them were sustained at the hands of her own father, Kristepher Benavidez.
He and the child's mother, Monique Gaxiola, are each charged with first degree murder. Police say she failed to report the abuse.
It is a story that left a community in shock and many of you up in arms.
Well, get ready for another blow.
9OYS has learned Arizona's Child Protective Services had this family, even this little girl, on its radar but left her to fend for herself.
Wednesday, after she stopped breathing inside the family's Midvale home on the 5200 block of Newcastle Court, newly obtained CPS reports show 20 month-old Adyson Gaxiola arrived at UAMC, bleeding from the ears with scratches, bruises, even bite marks all over her face and body.
On top of that, police warrants list evidence like a blanket, a child's toothbrush, even a small white onesie, all seemingly stained with blood.
But perhaps the most shocking point lies back with CPS, in a record of "...one prior report, alleging abuse or neglect..." of little Adyson by her mother Monique.
Carol Weigold of Casa de los Ninos says sadly, this case is not too shocking.
"CPS is overworked, understaffed," she said.
A state study released in November showed the number of cases like Adyson's, that turned fatal on CPS' watch, nearly doubled between 2010 and 2011.
Directors blamed an unforseen spike in the number of in kids entering the system.
The result? Weigold says cases deemed 'low priority' are often pushed aside, at first.
"Sometimes one call to CPS is just the beginning, and you need to be more persistent," she said.
Weigold advises if you sense abuse, call often and have details ready.
But most importantly she says, don't assume the system won't work.
"There's no vigilante group. There isn't another system," she said. "We have to jump through their hoops. We have to follow their protocol because they are the system."
9OYS asked CPS for more details about Adyson's case.
We are still waiting on those.
Directors sent a statement saying, in essence, the total number of abuse cases is still rising, but they did not address those that turned fatal.
Meanwhile, police say both Adyson's sisters were in the state's care as of Tuesday night.
Her twin sister, who was hospitalized alongside Adyson, remains at UAMC. She is expected to survive.
If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, experts urge you to contact CPS. Their hotline is 1-888-767-2445 (1-888-SOS-CHILD). You can remain anonymous.
If you believe the child is in immediate danger, call 9-1-1.