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Utah day care provider broke infant’s legs, police say


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SALT LAKE CITY — A $100,000 arrest warrant was issued Wednesday afternoon for an unlicensed day care owner accused of breaking an infant’s legs who allegedly told police she would rather flee to Mexico than go to jail.

Elvira Ortega, 66, of Salt Lake City, was charged in 3rd District Court with child abuse, a second-degree felony. She was arrested on Monday and was able to bail out of jail, according to court records.

On Feb. 22, KSL reports Ortega allegedly slammed a child “down on the bathroom floor, feet first, fracturing both legs,” according to a Salt Lake County Jail report.

The 10-month-old boy was dropped off at the day care in the morning by his mother, according to charging documents. When she picked the boy up, “she could tell that (he) was in pain,” the charges state.

The next day, the mother noticed her son “did not want to sit, crawl, or move and only wanted to be held,” according to court documents. The mother went back to the day care and confronted Ortega and her adult daughter, who helps run the business.

She “felt their explanations were inconsistent and unsatisfactory,” the charges state.

The woman then took her child to Primary Children’s Hospital where doctors determined the tibia of both the child’s legs were fractured below both knees, according to court documents. The doctors said the injuries were “atypical” for a child who wasn’t walking yet.

On Monday, police interviewed Ortega who admitted she was “frustrated” because the boy “would not stop crying,” the charges state.

The day care Ortega runs is not licensed, said Salt Lake police detective Greg Wilking. Wilking said it was unknown Wednesday whether the daughter was in the house at the time of the incident.

While police were interviewing her, Ortega stated “she did not want to go to jail and would rather leave to Mexico,” according to charging documents.