Child Abuse-Related Homicides in New Mexico: A 6-year Retrospective Review
Article first published online: 4 JAN 2010
© 2010 American Academy of Forensic Sciences
Journal of Forensic Sciences
Volume 55, Issue 1, pages 100–103, January 2010
How to Cite
Lee, C. K. and Lathrop, S. L. (2010), Child Abuse-Related Homicides in New Mexico: A 6-year Retrospective Review. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 55: 100–103. doi: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2009.01253.x
- Issue published online: 4 JAN 2010
- Article first published online: 4 JAN 2010
- Received 13 Nov. 2008; and in revised form 27 Jan. 2009; accepted 31 Jan. 2009.
- forensic science;
- child abuse;
- battered baby syndrome;
- domestic violence
Abstract: We retrospectively reviewed autopsy records at a statewide medical examiner’s office in order to identify and characterize deaths due to child abuse. In a 6-year period in New Mexico, the medical examiner investigated 45 deaths determined to be child abuse-related. Decedents were predominantly male (68.9%), Hispanic White (53.3%), and all were 5 years of age or younger, with a median age of 1 year. Head injuries were the most common cause of death (44.4%), followed by battered baby syndrome (15.6%). Relatives were involved as alleged perpetrators in 80% of the cases, with the father most often implicated (36.1% of cases), and 88.9% of child abuse injuries resulting in death occurred in the family’s residence. Toxicology was positive in 26.7% of cases, but only two cases had substances of abuse present. Information on risk factors such as prematurity, parental age, and history of abuse was also collected.