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Posted: March 05, 2018

Unlicensed day care worker accused of breaking baby's legs

Elvira Ortega. (Photo via Salt Lake County Jail)
Salt Lake County Jail
Elvira Ortega. (Photo via Salt Lake County Jail)

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By Jeffrey Caplan, Rare.us

SALT LAKE CITY —

A day care worker in Utah is accused of breaking a baby’s legs by slamming him onto a bathroom floor. Salt Lake City police say the woman was not licensed to take care of children.

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According to the New York Post, Elvira Ortega, 66, allegedly operated an unlicensed day care out of her home. She was arrested on Feb. 23 after the 10-month-old child’s parents brought him to a hospital. Ortega acknowledged slamming the baby feet-first onto the floor, police claim.

She was arrested on suspicion of felony child abuse, according to KSTU.

Salt Lake City Police Detective Greg Wilking said Ortega and her adult daughter were responsible for multiple children. The alleged incident occurred on Feb. 22, and doctors diagnosed the child with broken legs at Primary Children’s Hospital on Feb. 23.

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Wilking told the Deseret News that authorities believe the number of children being cared for at the unlicensed day care changed from day to day. Wilking also said that he wasn’t certain if Ortega’s daughter was at the house during the alleged incident.

Police said the incident is another reminder that parents must research where they choose to send their children for day care and should learn whether or not a day care is licensed.

When the mother picked up the boy, “she could tell that [he] was in pain,” according to court documents.

>> On Rare.us: Four children died after a security guard lit a day care on fire, authorities say

The following day, the mother noticed her son “did not want to sit, crawl or move and only wanted to be held,” according to the documents. She then went back to the day care and confronted Ortega and her daughter, and she “felt their explanations were inconsistent and unsatisfactory,” per the documents.

Doctors determined that of both the child’s tibiae were fractured, injuries to the lower legs that were “atypical” for a child who wasn’t walking yet, according to the documents.

Authorities said that when they interviewed Ortega, she admitted that she had become “frustrated” because the baby “would not stop crying,” the Deseret News reported.


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