Deputies say a suicidal mother admitted burying her 2-year-old son under 4 feet of tumbleweeds and leaving him to die in an El Paso County field last weekend.
The toddler asked his mother to stay, but she told (him) she had to leave," according to an arrest affidavit.
About 1 p.m. Saturday, El Paso County sheriff's deputies searching with a police dog found the toddler, wearing a diaper and wrapped in his mother's coat and a dress, buried under a pile of tumbleweeds in a ditch, the affidavit said. The boy was taken to a hospital where doctors found he had minor scratches on his legs, but was otherwise well-nourished and healthy.
Nyesha Hall-Gonzalez was arrested on suspicion of attempted first-degree murder and child abuse. She was held in the El Paso County jail on $50,000 bond.
The dramatic search for the boy began after 10:15 a.m., when someone called 911 to report seeing a woman wandering in a nightgown about 1 mile from a white sport utility vehicle parked on the side of Interstate 25.
The caller said there were items for young children in the SUV.
State troopers also reported that, about 7:45 a.m., they had seen a woman with a toddler in her arms near the white SUV.
Arriving deputies found the 28-year-old Hall-Gonzalez, but no children. The barefoot woman, who had scratches on her hands and feet, was uncooperative and wouldn't answer deputies' questions, the affidavit said.
Eventually, the woman gave her Colorado Springs address and identified her husband as Carmelo Ortiz-Aponte, deputies said.
Deputies called the husband, who said the couple's 2-year-old son had been with his mother earlier.
Police learned that Hall-Gonzalez was going through a divorce and had told a friend on Friday that she planned to kill herself and Carmelo, because no one would want him after she killed herself," the affidavit said. Hall-Gonzalez said she wasn't going to kill her other child, an infant, who was with her husband on Saturday.
Deputies said the mother repeatedly ignored their requests to tell them where her son was.
According to the affidavit, the mother finally said, "You must already know he is deceased, because you have a cadaver dog," referring to a police dog, Axel, that was brought to the scene to search for the boy.
The mother asked for the time and when a deputy said it was 12:24 p.m., she said that "Carmelo was probably deceased by now," the affidavit said.
A deputy again urged Hall-Gonzales to tell him where the boy was.
The mother said she had walked away from the SUV into a field and the boy had followed her.
At one point, the toddler said he was cold and the mother told deputies she had wrapped him in her black coat and "left him in some bushes," the affidavit said.
Just before 1 p.m., Axel led his handler, Deputy Mark Miller, to the boy buried under the tumbleweeds.
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