Utah mother speaks after teen babysitter charged with child abuse homicide

Posted at 3:15 PM, Jan 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-17 17:16:48-05

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah -- A teenage babysitter has been booked into detention and faces a charge of child abuse homicide after a 21-month-old baby died Tuesday, and Wednesday the victim's mother spoke about the tragedy.

According to the West Valley City Police Department, 21-month-old Jaycieion Sanchez died after emergency units responded to a home near 4600 South and 2900 West in West Valley City Tuesday around noon.

The unconscious child was flown to a hospital, but despite medical efforts the child died.

"He was the happiest baby ever," the boy's mother, Gena Sanchez, said. "You ask him a question like, 'Did you miss me?' And he says 'Yeah!' I can still hear it."

The 21-month-old child was at home with a younger sibling and a babysitter at the time, and police stated they saw "multiple visible injuries that were not consistent with statements given by the babysitter regarding the circumstances of the child's death."

Police conducted an investigation and served a search warrant at the home, and authorities questioned the babysitter as well as the child's mother and grandmother.

Ultimately, the 17-year-old babysitter was booked into Salt Lake Valley Detention for child abuse homicide. The babysitter is not a relative of the child's, police said, but he has babysat for the family before.

"This was not the first time," Roxeanne Vainuku of West Valley City Police Department said. "This is someone who has babysat the child before."

Police said a medical examiner will conduct an autopsy to determine the official cause of death.

Police say it will be up to prosecutors to determine what, if any, official charges will be filed and whether or not the teen will be charged as a juvenile or an adult.

Sanchez said it has been difficult to cope.

"Instead of having a two year old birthday for my son, now I need to bury him," she said.

Sanchez said she hopes justice will be served.

"I will never forget you Jay, I will never forget you," she said. "You're always in my heart, and I will not rest until you get justice."