Child dies after being left in father's car
By Alex Hinojosa / El Paso Times
Posted: 08/28/2010 05:43:04 PM MDT

SOCORRO - A child died Friday after being left inside a vehicle, sheriff's officials said. Emmanuel Armendariz, 25, of the 11400 block of Alameda Avenue, allegedly left his 2-year-old son inside his vehicle Friday afternoon.

It is uncertain how long the child was left in the vehicle, but neighbors said they heard frantic screams around 5:30 p.m. from the child's mother, Krystal Chavez, as she and Armendariz searched for the boy. Neighbors said Armendariz found his son inside his vehicle and called 911.

Emergency responders found the child was unresponsive and he was transported to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Armendariz was arrested on suspicion of injury to a child. He was released this afternoon on a $5,000 bond.

Further charges against him could be filed at a later date, sheriff's officials said.

Read more about this story in Sunday's El Paso Times.


Child left in car dies; father arrested
By Alex Hinojosa \ EL PASO TIMES
Posted: 08/29/2010 12:00:00 AM MDT

SOCORRO -- A 2-year-old boy left inside a car in 90-degree temperatures died Friday, officials said.

Manny Malique Armendariz was found in the car and died later at a hospital.

His father, Emmanuel Armendariz, 25, of the 11400 block of Alameda Avenue, was arrested on suspicion of injury to a child. He was released Saturday after posting a $5,000 bond.

Sheriff officials allege that Armendariz left the child inside his car. It was uncertain how long the child was left in the car, officials said.

Neighbors said they saw Emmanuel Armendariz arrive home in the early afternoon. The child's mother, Krystal Chavez, arrived home later, around 5:30 p.m.

"She had just come home after work," neighbor Elizabeth Vasquez said. "She called to ask her mom to come bring her son home. But when her mom told her, 'How can I bring him home if he's not here?' that's when they started looking for the child."

Frantic and upset, neighbors said, Chavez and Emmanuel Armendariz began to shout at each other, and in anger Chavez began to hit Armendariz. He found Manny after looking inside his car, they said.

Neighbors said they saw Emmanuel Armendariz take the child out of the car and watched the couple perform CPR on him and contact 911. After failed attempts to resuscitate their son, Armendariz made the sign of the cross over the toddler's forehead.

Neighbors described Emmanuel Armendariz as a generous and compassionate man who took care of his son.

"He was a good father and a good person," Vasquez said. "He was always with his son. This tragedy affected him the most. Hopefully this won't tear the family apart, because in times like these, they are going to need each other more."
In another incident on Friday, police said Blanca Bonilla, of the 11300 block of Lake Loy, allegedly left a 1-year-old child unattended inside a locked pickup with the windows rolled up. Police removed the child, and Bonilla was arrested on suspicion of abandoning or endangering a child and booked into the El Paso County Jail, her bond set at $2,500.

The child survived.

According to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, 11 children have died this year from being left in cars in the heat. Temperatures in a vehicle can reach over 100 degrees within 10 minutes, said National Weather Service Meteorologist Joe Rogash.

Sheriff's spokesman Jesse Tovar said all parents should look and communicate with each other before locking the doors of a vehicle.

"Ultimately, parents have to be aware of their children at all times," Tovar said.

"And they should never leave a child unattended inside a vehicle. Cases like these happen rarely, but when they do, it's usually a case where parents are going in an out of the vehicle. But you can't just assume that the other parent is aware of where the child is -- both parents must communicate with each other."

Further charges against Emmanuel Armendariz may be determined later.

Alex Hinojosa may be reached at ahinojosa@elpasotimes.com; 546-6137.