Utah woman accused of killing daughter was making plans to flee country, prosecutors say
MORONI, Sanpete County — A judge has revoked bail for a woman accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter after prosecutors say the woman was making arrangements while in jail to try to flee the country.
Anyi Nicol Canales Cruz, 22, along with her husband, Juan Castillo, 51, are charged in 6th District Court with child abuse homicide, a first-degree felony, and child abuse, a third-degree felony. Castillo also faces an additional charge of drug possession, a class A misdemeanor.
In December, Cruz’s 2-year-old daughter, Litzy, was taken to a hospital and was pronounced dead a short time later. Doctors contacted the Sanpete County Sheriff’s Office after they said they discovered signs of abuse.
In addition to physical abuse, investigators say they also found a large amount of children and adult medication in the home, and believe “that large amounts of medication may have contributed to the death of the juvenile,” a police booking affidavit states.
During a hearing on Jan. 11, a judge determined that Cruz is a flight risk but still set a bail of $150,000 over the objection of Sanpete County Attorney Kevin Daniels who argued that Cruz should be held in jail without bail pending trial, according to court records. Cruz is from Honduras and was charged in 2016 with entering the U.S. illegally.
On Jan. 21, a Sanpete County sheriff’s deputy monitored a recorded call from the Sanpete County Jail between Cruz and a man described by prosecutors as “a paramour of the defendant.”
During the conversation, Cruz tells the man, “I’ll go to Honduras with you if you want,” according to a motion filed by prosecutors to have her bail revoked.
On Jan. 22, she had another phone conversation with the man.
“The recording picks up with the defendant stating to (the man), ‘The first thing is getting out of here. Once I get out, I’ll figure it out. I have a lot of family in other states and they will help me,'” the motion states.
The man then talks about going to Mexico.
“Remember I had previously told you we should go and you didn’t want to. See, you should have listened to me,” Cruz replied, according to the motion.
Later that same day, Cruz is recorded telling the man about a conversation she had with Castillo prior to Litzy’s death, in which she suggested they split up and he keep his stepdaughter, the motion states.
In other recordings reviewed by the deputy, Cruz “was making arrangements with (the man), family members and other men to come up with the bail amount as it currently stands. These efforts, combined with the new information, paint a picture of an individual that has designed to flee the country as soon as she can make bail,” prosecutors argued in their motion. “It is clear (Cruz) is making concrete plans to flee the United States.”
The motion was filed Jan. 24 and a judge revoked Cruz’s bail that same day, according to court records, just before she could post bail. A detention hearing is now scheduled for Feb. 22.
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