Sick girl sought af­ter mom takes her from hospi­tal

Austin American-Statesman - - THE SECOND FRONT - By Brian skoloff

PHOENIX — Au­thor­i­ties in Ari­zona are look­ing for an 11-year-old girl with leukemia who is at risk of a deadly in­fec­tion af­ter her par­ents in­ex­pli­ca­bly took her out of a Phoenix hospi­tal a week ago.

The girl, Emily, had been re­ceiv­ing chemo­ther­apy at Phoenix Chil­dren’s Hospi­tal for about a month, Phoenix po­lice Sgt. Steve Mar­tos said Mon­day.

An in­fec­tion forced doc­tors to am­pu­tate her right arm. The girl’s mother re­moved a tube that de­liv­ered med­i­ca­tion to the girl’s heart, changed her clothes and walked her out of the hospi­tal Nov. 28.

“If she con­tracts an in­fec­tion, it really could just be a mat­ter of days that could re­sult in the young girl’s death,” Mar­tos said. “It’s pretty se­ri­ous.”

Au­thor­i­ties had been stymied by health pri­vacy laws that kept them from re­leas­ing the par­ents’ names, but po­lice said Mon­day that U.S. Bor­der Pa­trol stopped the girl’s fa­ther, Luis Bra­ca­montes, 46, as he crossed into Ari- zona from Mex­ico over the week­end.

Mar­tos said the man pro­vided no clues to the girl’s where­abouts and de­nied hav­ing any involvement in re­mov­ing her from the hospi­tal. Po­lice re­leased his name, along with that of the girl’s mother, Norma Bra­ca­montes, 35, in hopes it will help lo­cate the child.

Nei­ther par­ent is charged with a crime yet, but au­thor­i­ties want the child brought back to the hospi­tal be­fore it’s too late, Mar­tos said.

He said the fam­ily lives a “no­madic” life with­out a per­ma­nent res­i­dence, but they have rel­a­tives in Ari­zona, Cal­i­for­nia and Mex­ico, none of whom have been able to pro­vide po­lice with in­for­ma­tion about their where­abouts.

The girl’s fa­ther is a Mex­i­can cit­i­zen with a U.S. res­i­dent alien iden­ti­fi­ca­tion card. The child and her mother are U.S. ci­ti­zens, Mar­tos said.

Au­thor­i­ties don’t know why the par­ents took her from the hospi­tal, but spec­u­late they might have been con­cerned with paying the bill.

Contributed by Phoenix Po­lice

A hospi­tal sur­veil­lance photo re­leased Mon­day shows a woman with her 11-year-old daugh­ter, a leukemia pa­tient who needs care to sur­vive.

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