Caretaker: Child’s death was avoidable

January 1, 2014 • State News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The family that helped raise a 9-year-old Albuquerque boy who died after police say his biological mother kicked him repeatedly claims the child’s death could have been prevented.

Police found Omaree Varela unresponsive in his family’s home Friday. His mother, Synthia Varela-Casaus, 38, was arrested after telling police she got angry and kicked him. She’s facing a charge of child abuse resulting in death. It wasn’t clear if she had a lawyer yet.

Varela-Casaus’ son and daughter lived with Essie Sotelo’s family on and off for several years until Sotelo said the state Children, Youth and Families Department ordered the children to be returned in 2011.

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