Statesville, NC mother Erika Altanirano was arrested on murder and child abuse charges after her four-month-old child died. Erika's arrest took place on July 16, 2019.
An empty liquor bottle was found at Erika's home where the child sustained the injuries. Earlier this year a mother was arrested charged with killing her 7-month-old baby.
Erika's investigation began on June 27, 2019 in Statesville when deputies with the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office responded to Davis Regional Medical Center after hearing a child was brought to the hospital after being unresponsive.
Hospital officials ran several tests while the child was in critical condition and determined that the child had a serious head injury.
The child was flown to Brenner’s Children’s Hospital at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center for further evaluation.
Detectives say they spoke to multiple witnesses and family members to learn that the child’s father had arrived home from work to find the child breathing but unresponsive.
The father immediately called for help and took the child to the nearest hospital.
While at Brenner’s Hospital, detectives say they interviewed additional family members, including the child’s mother Erika, but no one claimed to have known what happened to the child.
A search warrant was then executed at the home and detectives say they collected numerous items of evidence, including an empty liquor bottle from a trash can.
Detectives say Altanirano admitted to drinking alcohol during the day but stated that she could not remember what happened to the child. Altanirano went to the liquor store earlier that day where she had purchased the alcohol.
Physicians at Brenner’s Hospital said the child had a significant skull fracture to the rear of his head as well as other injuries. The physicians also determined the injuries were life-threatening and were consistent with non-accidental trauma.
The child died from the injuries he sustained on July 4th. An autopsy was performed the next day and the official cause of death was determined to be blunt force trauma.
As a result of the evidence and information gathered during the investigation, Erika was arrested on July 16th for felony second degree murder and felony child abuse.
She was issued a $500,000 secured bond on the charges.