Evans police arrest parents following alleged abuse that left 3-month-old with serious brain injuries

Raphael Engwongwo and Cheyanne Villa_child abuse charges.jpg
Posted at 7:44 AM, Apr 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-23 12:13:51-04

EVANS, Colo. — Two parents have been arrested after police in Evans alleged they had abused their 3-month-old son, causing serious brain injuries that will impact him the rest of his life.

On Nov. 22, 2020, officers with the Evans Police Department were dispatched to the UC Health Medical Center emergency room in Greeley for a 3-month-old who was being treated for seizures, police said. When hospital staff learned he had internal bleeding in his brain, he was flown by helicopter to Children’s Hospital in Aurora, where he was admitted into the Intensive Care Unit.

Staff worked for several days to stabilize the infant enough to start to assess his condition. Once they were able to examine him more, they learned that in addition to his brain injury, the baby also had several broken bones all over his body.

In the following months, police worked with the Weld County District Attorney’s Office to investigate how the baby was injured. Police said it turned into a "very complex and difficult" case of child abuse.

After several weeks, the baby recovered enough to be released into the custody of Child Protective Services, police said.

He suffered from "irreversible brain damage and will face significant challenges for the rest of his life," police said.

On April 21, 2021, two arrest warrants were secured — one for the baby's father, 23-year-old Raphael Engwongwo of Evans, and one for the baby's mother, 27-year-old Cheyanne Villa of Greeley. Engwongwo was arrested April 21 and Villa was taken into custody on April 22.

Engwongwo faces charges of:

  • Child abuse - knowingly and recklessly failing to seek treatment causing serious bodily injury
  • False reporting to authorities

Villa faces charges of:

  • Child abuse - knowingly or recklessly causing serious bodily injury
  • Child abuse - knowingly and recklessly failing to seek treatment causing serious bodily injury
  • Tampering with a witness
  • Tampering with physical evidence
  • False reporting to authorities