Parents treated as suspects in child abuse cases

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A North Las Vegas family has faced numerous challenges in recent months. First, Jessica and Danny Lopez learned their baby suffered serious injuries at a local daycare facility. Then, they say they felt like they were treated as suspects.

They say they knew a worker at an unlicensed daycare center hurt their baby Jonathan, after he was taken to the hospital in critical condition in November. The parents say investigators immediately focused on them.

“We felt so bad what was going on, plus that on top of it, it was really hard,” Danny said.

They say detectives questioned them. Their two other children were placed with their grandparents. Jessica and Danny couldn’t spend time with their children without supervision for more than a month.

Attorney Dustin Marcello says this is routine for a child abuse investigation like this one.

“It can create a really tense environment where the parent’s angry. CPS is doing what they think is necessary. Police detectives are involved,” he said.

Marcello says police need to question those closest to the child, and Child Protective Services can act fast to make sure children are not in danger.

“They don’t have to have found you guilty or even think that there’s probable cause to even think you might have done something,” he said.

Last week, North Las Vegas Police arrested Alejandra Robles, the daycare worker police say admitted to dropping Jonathan because he kept crying.

“Yeah, he cried. He was a baby,” Jessica said.

The once healthy baby now suffers from severe injuries. Danny and Jessica say they don’t know if he’ll be able to see, hear or walk.

“Our life will never be the same,” Jessica said.

A spokeswoman for North Las Vegas Police says detectives never want to traumatize parents any more than they already are in situations like this, but they try to eliminate every person close to the child as a suspect to ensure they arrest the correct person.

The unlicensed daycare center has been shut down. Jonathan’s parents say they were aware it was unlicensed, but they knew and trusted the owner.

Jessica says Jonathan is not doing well. She asks for prayers for him and the medical team taking care of him.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help raise money for Jonathan’s care.

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