Arrest papers reveal disturbing details on investigation into the death of a baby in Colorado
CROWLEY COUNTY, Colo. (KKTV) - Two people are facing serious charges in connection to the death of a child.
WARNING: Some of the details in this article are hard to read.
KKTV 11 News first learned about the case involving Jason and Joy Soltani when the Crowley County Sheriff’s Office announced they were wanted for criminally negligent homicide, child abuse causing death and manslaughter on April 24. The pair was eventually taken into custody. Arrest papers obtained by 11 News detail why investigators believe they are responsible for the death of a baby.
According to the documents, first responders received a report on Aug. 9, 2021 that a baby was not breathing, tied to an unattended death. They were called to a property in Crowley County. The sheriff reportedly contacted Jason and Joy Soltani, and they weren’t able to provide a birth certificate. The mother, Joy, also shared two different birthdays to the doctor and wouldn’t speak with the sheriff. CPR was administered on the baby before they were transported to the hospital via ambulance to La Junta.
A search warrant was executed at the Soltani home, inside there was an 18-year-old female and six kids, all under the age of 8. A total of 10 people lived inside the 1,465-square-foot home.
“The house was filthy with trails to the rooms, sticky floors, children sleeping on piles of dirty cloths and dirty car seats,” part of the arrest papers read. “It was what law enforcement considers or calls a ‘hoarder house.’ CBI was called in to photograph the scene. CBI Agent Dennis Honeycutt took the pictures. No one could identify where everyone slept, lived, and no one was able to identify where everyone slept, lived, and no one was able to identify where the dead baby was found or slept or who had last seen the baby alive, or who had put the baby to sleep last. The parents would not speak to law enforcement and were not present at the time of the search warrant.”
The arrest papers add that the children were filthy, unkept and smelled of “human feces.” The children were taken to a church where they were allowed to play and fed pizza.
“It appeared the children had not eaten lately,” the arrest papers add. The younger children were turned over to the Department of Human Services.
The baby was pronounced dead at the hospital and the Crowley County Coroner was called to the scene.
“The coroner reported that he found the baby filthy, with dirt on feet, fingernails, and scalp with ‘a lot of wax build up in ears,’ the papers read. " Parents would not accept the child’s death and claimed they were going to pray and have [name redacted] resurrected and initially refused to give custody of the child to the coroner for autopsy.”
The cause of death was not determined, but the autopsy noted that there was no food content in the baby’s stomach and no urine in the baby’s bladder.
On October 29, 2022, the sheriff’s office was called because of a civil disturbance between Jason and his mother Linda Soltani. During that incident, Linda made statements that she would testify against Jason and Joy for the death of the baby, claiming they didn’t feed the baby and killed the baby. Linda reported on body-worn camera that they had starved and abused their children, according to the arrest papers.
Interviews were then set up with the other children on Nov. 3, 2022. It was reported by two children that the baby “died with a plastic bag over it.”
On Feb. 8, 2023 more interviews were conducted with the kids in reference to child abuse.
“The children were always starving and ate nonfood products to include human waste, paint, paper and cardboard,” the arrest papers state in regards to the interviews with the surviving children.
The kids were reportedly never allowed out of their rooms and they were never allowed to play in their yard. There were claims they ate from one to two meals a day of Ramen or cereal and all the children ate out of one bowl on the floor, as the table in the house was covered with “stuff.”
The arrest papers clarify that the cause of death for the baby remained “undetermined.” However, details of alleged child abuse given to foster parents, therapists and forensic interviews by the [redacted] have not changed or deviated, according to the arrest papers.
Investigators believe it was clearly reported that the suspects allegedly withheld food and water from the kids along with physically abusing them.
The arrest papers add the Soltanis are flight risks after they went to New Mexico in August of 2022 to allegedly avoid the Department of Human Services from taking custody of their newborn, their 8th child. At the time the arrest papers were filed, Joy was allegedly pregnant with her 9th child on April 20, 2023.
Both suspects are scheduled to appear in court on May 9.
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