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3-month-old boy suffers irreversible brain damage, parents arrested

The son of Cheyanne Villa and Raphael Engwongwo also had broken bones throughout his body, according to Evans Police.

EVANS, Colorado — The parents of a 3-month-old boy who suffered permanent brain damage as a result of abuse were arrested this week and face numerous felony charges, according to the Evans Police Department (EPD).

Cheyanne Villa, 27, of Greeley, and Raphael Engwongwo, 23, of Evans, were arrested on Wednesday. Both are due in court on April 28.

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On Nov. 22, 2020, officers with EPD were called to the emergency department of UCHealth Medical Center in Greeley where the baby was being treated for seizures.

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Hospital staff determined the boy had bleeding in his brain and he was transported to Children's Hospital Colorado in Aurora by helicopter. He was immediately taken to the intensive care unit, where, according to EPD, it took several days to stabilize him enough to perform a complete evaluation.

During the evaluation, doctors discovered the child had several broken bones throughout his "entire body," EPD said.

Credit: WCSO
Cheyanne Villa and Raphael Engwongwo

Since that time, EPD and the Weld County District Attorney's Office have been investigating. On April 21, the boy's parents were arrested.

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Villa faces the following charges:

  • Child abuse knowingly or recklessly causing serious bodily injury
  • Child abuse knowingly or recklessly failing to seek treatment causing serious bodily injury
  • Tampering with a witness
  • Tampering with physical evidence
  • False reporting to authorities

Engwongwo faces the following charges:

  • Child abuse knowingly or recklessly failing to seek treatment causing serious bodily injury
  • False reporting to authorities

After several weeks in the hospital, the infant recovered to the point where he could be released to Child Protective Services. However, according to EPD, the boy suffered irreversible brain damage and will face "significant challenges" for the rest of his life.

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