Colo. parents arrested after baby reportedly found dead in 'filthy' conditions and malnourished
05/10/2023 4:21 pm PDT
CROWLEY COUNTY, Colo. (TCD) -- Officials arrested the parents of a baby who was reportedly found deceased in a home with several other abused children in 2021.
The Crowley County Sheriff’s Office announced arrest warrants against Jason Soltani and Joy Soltani on April 24 in connection with the death of their baby in August 2021. Jason Soltani was wanted for criminally negligent homicide, child abuse causing death, and manslaughter, while Joy Soltani was wanted for criminally negligent homicide, child abuse causing death, manslaughter, and perjury.
On Aug. 9, 2021, first responders were called to their home to a report of an unresponsive baby, KKTV-TV reports. The baby was transported to a La Junta hospital via ambulance, where it was pronounced dead.
Arrest papers obtained by KKTV said, "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 arrest papers said the parents "would not accept the child’s death and claimed they were going to pray and have [the victim] resurrected and initially refused to give custody of the child to the coroner for autopsy."
A cause of death has not yet been determined, but the baby’s stomach reportedly contained no food, and there was no urine in its bladder.
According to KKTV, officials executed a search warrant for the 1,465-square-foot home and discovered that 10 people were living inside. There were reportedly six kids under the age of 8, as well as an 18-year-old female.
Arrest papers obtained by KKTV allege, "The house was filthy with trails to the rooms, sticky floors, children sleeping on piles of dirty cloths and dirty car seats."
Officials reportedly noted that the children smelled of "human feces," and "it appeared the children had not eaten lately."
The following year, on Oct. 29, 2022, the Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a civil disturbance between Jason Soltani and his mother. His mother reportedly told authorities Jason and Joy Soltani failed to feed the baby and abused their children.
Several days later, on Nov. 3, 2022, authorities interviewed the other children, and they reportedly indicated the infant "died with a plastic bag over it."
According to KKTV, the children were interviewed further in February, and officials noted in arrest papers, "The children were always starving and ate nonfood products to include human waste, paint, paper, and cardboard."
Joy and Jason Soltani forbade the children from leaving their rooms and playing outside. The children allegedly ate only one or two meals a day that consisted of ramen noodles or cereal and would often eat from only one bowl or the floor.
Investigators believe Joy and Jason Soltani failed to adequately supply food and water to the children, and they physically abused them.
Additionally, the Soltanis are flight risks because in August 2022, they allegedly traveled to New Mexico to prevent the Department of Human Services from taking their newborn child.
On April 24, the Sheriff’s Office said security staff from the Otero Junior College in La Junta, Colorado, recognized the Soltanis from their arrest warrants and called the La Junta Police Department. Jason and Joy Soltani were then taken into custody without incident and booked into the Crowley County Jail.
Joy Soltani was allegedly pregnant with her ninth child at the time of their arrest.
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