ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A woman has been arrested and charged with child abuse resulting in great bodily injury after police responded to a home Sunday night where a 2-year-old was found unresponsive.
The child was in the care of Ashley Montano, 24, over the weekend, and when police responded to the scene, the little girl was rushed to UNM Hospital where emergency surgery was required to save her life.
According to a criminal complaint, Montano called 911 Sunday saying that the girl was unresponsive and that her eyes had rolled back into her head.
The initial story she told detectives was that she saw the girl fall off the bed, but officers say she later recanted and admitted to striking the child at least five times with the palm of her hand because the girl was throwing a temper tantrum. Montano also admitted to spanking the girl Saturday.
The toddler’s injuries from Sunday were so serious that she was diagnosed with bleeding on the brain which required live-saving surgery.
“It was clear that these injuries were not accidental and it was clear that there was some suspicious activity going on from the very moment that they arrived on the call, so it’s always helpful when you have an offender that’s forthcoming with information,” said Tasia Martinez of APD.
Detectives are still trying to determine what the relationship is between Montano and the little girl. A neighbor who spoke with KRQE News 13 said she believed the girl was the daughter of Montano’s boyfriend.
This is not the first time that Montano has been in trouble with the law. Court records show that she had two domestic violence cases, one in 2010 and the other in 2012. Both cases were dismissed.
On Monday afternoon, police say the hospital released information that the child from Sunday’s incident was breathing on her own, but still in critical condition.
Montano remains in custody and has yet to make her first appearance in court on the charges. Martinez says she doesn’t know whether Montano has a lawyer yet.
Detectives and the Children, Youth and Families Department were called to investigate the case.