On April 15, 2008, nine-month-old Richard Fonesca-Hernandez died. The coroner’s office states the child died as a result of homicide. The Will County Sherriff’s office is currently investigating the matter.  

Richard’s family lives in Crystal Lawns subdivision outside of Joliet. He was taken emergently to Povena St. Joseph Medical Center in Joliet when he became unresponsive under the care of a baby sitter. New stories say that Richard was at the home of the baby sitter when his condition deteriorated. According to details released to the media, the baby sitter called 911.   

Monitor strangers around your child. Look for signs that the caregiver delayed in seeking help for an injury or potential injury. Have a high-index of suspicion for an individual providing an inconsistent history about the mechanism of injury. Suspect intentional injury when the injury is inconsistent with the child’s developmental capabilities.  Well adjusted care giving styles are learned behaviors. Good child care is not instinctual. Abusive adults are generally grown abused children with poor coping skills. That is not to say that all abusers were abused and all abused children will be abusers. Some people that were abused as children do not abuse children. And some children that were not abused as children grow up to be abusive parents. However, the likelihood of being an abuser increases significantly if an individual was abused as a child. While women are more likely and more frequently to be the abusers, men abuse more severely. Children under the age of three years old are the most likely victims of abuse, because the toddler stage is a very trying time for child care providers. Child care providers with unrealistic expectations and poor coping skills are most at risk for engaging in abusive behavior. Physical abuse is the most overt form of abuse. Physical abuse can result in brain injury, fractured bones, soft tissue injuries, bruises, cuts and burns.  


Christopher Keane
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California Child Abuse and Child Injury Lawyer
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