Pueblo arrest affidavit claims 2-year-old's neglect death was 'definitely preventable'
The Tuesday death of a 2-year-old child whose mother stands accused of leaving them unattended and neglecting their medical needs was "definitely preventable," a local doctor doctor told police, according to a Pueblo Police Department arrest affidavit.
Mythia Latka, 23, was arrested on suspicion of child abuse resulting in death after detectives responded to a local hospital on a report of an unresponsive child and launched an investigation.
A doctor at Children's Hospital Colorado indicated to police that the child, whose medical needs necessitated a tracheostomy tube in order for the child to breathe, had likely suffered from oxygen deprivation due to the tracheostomy tube not being cleaned, leading to his death.
The doctor stated an alarm would have sounded on the child's ventilator to warn the caregiver, and he told police the child's death was "definitely preventable."
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The doctor also expressed concern over physical injuries to the child's face but stated there was no brain bleed, according to a CT scan.
The child, whose name and gender were redacted throughout the police affidavit, had an abrasion and blood on their lip, as well as several scratches on their face.
A witness who lived with Latka and her child stated to police she had seen Latka push the child's face into a wall several times while the child's hands were tied behind their back, causing the child's lip to bleed, according to the affidavit.
Police say Latka admitted to pushing the child's head into the wall several times but claimed it was "not hard enough to cause injury."
Latka told police she would tie the toddler's hands behind their back with a hair tie to stop them from pulling at their trach tube and the gastrostomy tube they needed to eat.
The witness also testified she had not ever seen Latka clean or care for the child's trach tube and wasn't sure when the last time such a cleaning had occurred.
Police stated Latka refused to take the child to a hospital for medical care prior to their death, insisting she could do it herself.
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Police said in the affidavit the child was placed in a bedroom and left unattended from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the day of the child's death. Latka allegedly did not check on the child during the day and when she eventually did, she found the child unresponsive.
"Mythia admitted to being frustrated with (the child's) behavior and not only physically abusing (them) and causing bruising and abrasions but leaving (them) unattended, wrapped in a blanket and unable to help (them). This action, or rather inaction, is ultimately what lead to (the child's) death," Pueblo police Detective Monica Lemmon wrote in the affidavit.
The doctor at Children's Hospital also told police it was clear that the child had been neglected for some time, as they had skin conditions that indicated an ongoing pattern of neglect.
Latka was booked into the Pueblo County jail and is currently being held on a $100,000 bond, according to jail records.
She is scheduled for a first appearance in court on Feb. 6.
All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in court. Arrests and charges are merely accusations by law enforcement until, and unless, a suspect is convicted of a crime.
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This article originally appeared on The Pueblo Chieftain: Pueblo police say 2-year-old's death due to negligence by mother