POSTED: 7:33 a.m. HST, Jul 24, 2011
LAST UPDATED: 7:54 a.m. HST, Jul 24, 2011
HAGATNA, Guam >> Fourteen-month-old Deelia Rojas weighed less than a newborn infant when she allegedly starved to death, according to Guam court documents made public Thursday.
Her parents, Ray Anthony Ayuyu Hocog and May Pereira Rojas, were charged with first-degree manslaughter and third-degree child abuse, Pacific Daily News reported Friday. Assistant Attorney General Stephen Leon Guerrero said in court that Hocog, 34, and Rojas, 33, are accused of allowing their daughter to starve to death. They were ordered held on $100,000 bail.
The baby died July 16 of malnutrition and was so skinny that her rib cage was "clearly visible," according to court documents. She died weighing 5 pounds, 8 ounces, which is lighter than when she was born. A healthy 14-month-old normally weighs about 22 pounds.
"This defendant and the co-defendant have six other minor children, so we believe the $100,000 cash bail is appropriate and warranted," the prosecutor said. The manslaughter charge carries a possible prison term of 15 years, he said.
Court documents don't reveal why authorities believe the Mangilao couple starved their child and prosecutors have not provided a motive. Their other children are in the care of Child Protective Services.
Medics brought the girl, who wasn't breathing, to U.S Naval Hospital Guam after they responded to a 911 call. She was pronounced dead at the hospital. Doctors contacted Guam police, launching a death investigation. The girl's parents were arrested Wednesday.