WEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - A South Florida grandmother devastated over the brutal murder of her 2-year-old grandson, allegedly at the hands of his own mother, said state child welfare officials could have done more to prevent his death.
Two-year-old Alphonse Gonzales was fatally stabbed at his grandmother’s home, located in the Goulds neighborhood of Southwest Miami-Dade.
The boy’s mother, 22-year-old Nathaly Ramos, has been charged with his murder.
According to Miami-Dade Police, the deadly ordeal started in the area of Southwest 133rd Court, near 134th Avenue, also in Southwest Miami-Dade, where Nathaly was staying with her boyfriend, Christopher Ikpe.
According to the police report, Ikpe told investigators he woke up and “observed his girlfriend, the defendant, with a knife and a Taser.”
Police said Ikpe then realized he had been stabbed. Ramos’ boyfriend hid, and she took off.
Investigators said Nathaly then went to her mother’s home, located at 28200 SW 124th Place, also in Southwest Miami-Dade, where her son Alphonse was living under the care of his uncle. Police said the suspect fatally stabbed the toddler, then tried to take her own life.
Officials said Ikpe was taken to an area hospital, where he remains in critical condition.
Police said Ramos’ ex-boyfriend, Jesse Gonzales, is Alphonse’s father.
Gonzales said he got the tragic news late Monday morning. “I mean, God, I just never thought she would hurt our child,” he said. “Why would she do such a thing?”
DCF officials said Nathaly has a history with the child welfare system. They said Alphonse and his mother were in the early stages of a child protective investigation, and the child was living with his uncle and grandmother while the incident played out.
The boy’s grieving grandmother said this could have been prevented.
“You’re telling those people that your grand baby is in danger, OK? Because she’s not right in her mind,” said the boy’s grandmother, Yalerkys Ramos.
Yalerkys described to 7News the wrenching moment she confronted the Florida Department the Children and Families after reporting the fatal stabbing of her grandson.
“When they show up yesterday, after I call and say, ‘My baby, my grand baby’s dead because of you people,’ they show up 10 minutes later,” she said. “You call that a service? You call that a department that is supposed to be there for the child? No, no.”
“The last time we called DCF was the day before the incident,” said Yalerkys.
Yalerkys claimed her calls to DCF went unanswered.
“They never even replied to my messages — not their supervisors, nobody,” said Yalerkys.
In a statement issued Monday night, DCF officials said:
“The department is not a law enforcement agency and does not have legal authority to limit parents’ access to their children. The department always acts in the best interest of the child, and it is the responsibility of the family to work with the department to keep a child safe.”
DCF also released another statement that read, “Anyone experiencing an emergency should call 911. Any person who has reasonable suspicion to believe that a child or vulnerable adult is being abused or neglected should make a report to the Florida Abuse Hotline.”
Depending on how Nathaly cooperated with the plan, officials said, they would have tried to move the toddler to a foster home.
Nathaly appeared in bond court, Monday morning.
“This is pretty sad. She stabbed a baby to death,” said Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Mindy Glazer.
Nathaly was denied bond and remains behind bars.
As she awaits her next day in court, her mother said more should have been done. “I lost my grandson because they never took action,” said Yalerkys.
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