A couple has been arrested on allegations of abusive behavior towards four children under the age of 10.
Eliazar Ramos Sr., 45, and Ofelia Melendrez-Augustin, 39, are each being held on a $1,000,000 bond.
The Pueblo County Sheriff's Office says that the couple had been under investigation for more than a year prior to their arrests Sept. 5. PCSO says that there have been four reports of abuse investigated since July 2012, but there wasn't sufficient evidence to remove the children from the home. The family lived on Highway 96 in Pueblo County.
In recent weeks, the Sheriff's Office says law enforcement and medical experts had been able to determine a pattern of abuse and neglect, including malnourishment, lack of medical care and cruel punishment. Arrest papers show at least one of the children suffered burns and a broken femur.
The four children, all between the ages of 2 and 9, have been placed into foster care.
“It is always difficult for detectives when an injury reported to us as child abuse can’t be substantiated and our hands are tied but when a pattern of abuse is uncovered it becomes clear that something has to be done," Sheriff Kirk Taylor said in a statement. "The detectives and the panel of experts did exactly what needed to be done to protect these children or it is very likely the injuries would have continued, perhaps even escalated.”
Ramos was advised of his charges Wednesday. He could face four to 12 years in prison on child abuse charges. His next court date Sept. 16.
Melendrez-Augustin did not appear at the advisement.
We will continue to follow this case closely and will update you on any new developments as they become available.