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Stepmother charged with neglect in death of 12-year-old

Reported by: Amber Dixon
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Updated: 5/09/2013 2:52 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3) -- A Las Vegas woman has been charged with child neglect with substantial bodily harm resulting in death of her 12-year-old stepson who died Feb. 3 of peritonitis and acute appendicitis.

The state claims that Kalinda Mercado failed to provide her stepson, Emmanuel Mercado, proper medical treatment for a week starting Jan. 27 when he was getting sick at school and suffering fever and seen vomiting in a school courtyard, according to a Metro investigation.

On Jan. 27 the boy went to the nurses office and said he was sick. His stepmother was called and notified, but did not pick Emmanuel up from school. He was forced to ride the bus home after school. The warrant states the boy was sick over the weekend and on Sunday was unable to partake in a movie with his siblings and other family members.

Ob Monday (Jan. 30) he was escorted by his teacher to the nurse's office as he was suffering from pain in his stomach, particularly the lower right quadrant and had an elevated temperature. The school nurse, Ellen McEvoy, said the boy had an elevated temperature and she suspected appendicitis because of the fever and stomach pain. Mrs. Mercado was again called and she claimed Emmanuel was only trying to avoid going to class.

"It was relayed to Mrs. Mercado that he may be able to fake stomach pain, but not the fever and Mrs. Mercado was told she needed to get Emmanuel to a doctor as appendicitis was suspected and may be life threatening," the warrant states.

The nurse explained to Mrs. Mercado what the appendix is and the seriousness of appendicitis. McEvoy was concerned due to the fact Emmanuel said his stomach pain began the previous weekend.

Mrs. Mercado picked up Emmanuel from school on Jan. 30 about 9:30 a.m. but did not take him to a doctor that day. She claims the doctor advised her to give Tylenol to Emmanuel for his fever. Mrs. Mercado called nurse McEvoy later that afternoon and said Emmanuel went to the bathroom and had a bowl movement and she gave him Tylenol as instructed by the doctor and she said Emmanuel felt better.

"It was discovered Emmanuel was sick on Wednesday (Feb. 1) after he ate his dinner at home. Emmanuel vomited and he was treated with Alka Seltzer. Emmanuel was never taken to the doctor, but Mrs. Mercado called Desert Valley Pediatrics on Thursday (Feb. 2) and scheduled a wellness check appointment for April 12 and never mentioned or scheduled an appointment for Emmanuel's current medical condition," the warrant states.

On Friday (Feb. 3), Emmanuel again went to the nurse's office shortly after school began with a complaint of leg pain. Emmanuel was described as looking dehydrated, weak, with pale skin and blue finger tips.

Emmanuel was taken to the dean's office and Mrs. Mercado was called. She again did believe he was sick and believed that Emmanuel was only trying to skip class.  She arrived at the school and was told Emmanuel did not look very good and she needed to get him to a doctor.

"It was reported Emmanuel could not walk very well as he left the school grounds. Mrs. Mercado called Desert Valley Pediatrics and scheduled an appointment for 3:45 p.m. for the same day even though it was discovered there were earlier appointments available. Emmanuel was taken home in this condition," the warrant states.

At 3 p.m. Emmanuel was helped to the family car in the driveway of their home by his older brother, Jose, who described Emmanuel as being very pale and was unable to walk or see. Once inside the car Emmanuel went into full cardiac arrest and 911 was called.

Emmanuel was transported to UMC. In the emergency room he was taken into emergency surgery and it was discovered his appendix had burst and sepsis had taken over his organs.

He died Feb. 4 at 9:40 a.m.

The autopsy reported stated it was Dr. Simms' opinion the the cause of death was peritonitis due to a ruptured appendix due to acute appendicitis and a significant contributing factor is medical neglect. Simms ruled the manner of death as a homicide.

Mercado is under house arrest. Her next court appearance is scheduled for July 12.

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