When Ray and his girlfriend made a routine run to the corner gas station, they had no qualms about leaving their daughters behind at home with relatives in the house. But within that 15-minute trip, their lives were completely upturned, and they returned to find their babies trapped inside a burning house.
“The house was engulfed in smoke, I saw my mom and my niece were standing at the door and they were frantic,” Ray said about the horrifying sight he saw when he returned with his girlfriend back to their house in Michigan.
The family believes that the fire started in the basement and soon began racing through the entire house. Although the adults managed to make it out in time, they began fearing the worst because the 18-month-old babies, Milan and Malaysia, were still inside.
“I just knew I had to get my babies out,” Ray said. “That’s what went through my mind.”
While the house was still engulfed in flames, Ray entered the house and made it to the basement only because he knew exactly where his babies were sleeping.
“You really couldn’t see your hand in front of your face – I really only found my babies due to my memory, just knowing where they were and knowing how to get to them – just from having that same route,” Ray said.
Thankfully, Ray was able to make it out of the house with both his babies in his arms. The toddlers were rushed to the hospital and kept in the ICU, where they received the medical attention they needed.
Following the incident, Ray was praised for heroically saving his daughters but had to begin a long road to recovery. He suffered severe burns on his face, arms, neck, eyes, and arms.
“I was temporarily blind for three days and they said it was a miracle I could see,” the heroic father said. “I’ve got burns on my arms, but for the most part, everyone is still here.”
Along with his girlfriend and their twin daughters, Ray was living in the house with his mother and his niece as well. All of them survived the incident, but their house is completely destroyed and uninhabitable.
“The family lost absolutely everything in the fire. The father, Ray is now worried because he cannot go back to work due to the extent of his injuries,” said a GoFundMe page that was set up to raise funds for the family.
“If anybody can support that’ll be great,” Ray said.
The family is hoping to raise enough funds to buy “furniture, baby beds and baby furniture, in addition to diapers and clothing for both of the twin babies and clothing for the baby’s mother and the father,” the family wrote on the GoFundMe page. “Funds are also needed to go towards medical bills and expenses. Shi’Ann had valuable family Heirlooms that can never be replaced that were also lost in the fire.”
Kind donors have been able to exceed the fundraiser’s target of $40,000 and so far, donated $222,315 to help the family recover from the incident.
Mom helped bury son in Colorado wilderness after stepdad killed him
It took hours of searching in the Colorado wilderness but eventually Nickolle Aguilar, 26, led investigators to the spot.
Down a deep ravine near Rocky Mountain State Park, close to a campsite where she and her boyfriend, Daniel Garcia, had camped out nearly a month before, laid the body of her young son, according to details in an arrest warrant written Friday.
Aguilar and Garcia brought his body with them to Colorado, packed with the rest of their luggage, traveling miles and miles from the San Antonio, Texas, hotel where police say he died after a beating from Garcia.
The couple buried him there on July 25, then fled to Costa Rica, investigators say. But on August 25, Aguilar was back at the site with police, to “do the right thing,” the document says.
A month had passed since his unceremonious burial. Nature and the elements had opened up the grave, according to the warrant, but Aguilar remembered the location, recognized her son’s clothes — the same outfit he died in.
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Domenic Aguilar-Acevedo, 5, had been beaten by his stepfather many times, his mother told investigators, and in the three weeks since arriving in San Antonio the abuse was “extensive.”
Aguilar didn’t try to stop it, she told police. She was “too eager to be in a relationship with a man,” the document says.
On the night of July 24, Garcia struck Domenic so hard he was “thrown” into a hotel room wall by the force of the blow, “bounced off” and hit the ground, the document says. He was in pain, his mother recounted, and began “vomiting a black and brown liquid substance.”
Soon after, hotel surveillance cameras captured Garcia “carrying what appeared to be (his) lifeless body … out of the room and down the stairway,” according to documents.
In a few hours Garcia and Aguilar were in Colorado, burying her boy.
Aguilar said she didn’t contact any authorities out of fear she would lose custody of her other children, investigators reported.
DOWN IN COSTA RICA
Unable to see or speak to any of her grandchildren, Aguilar’s mother became concerned. So concerned, police say, that she “tracked” her daughter down in Costa Rica and paid her a visit around August 16. But when she arrived, Domenic was missing.
Where was her grandson?
Aguilar told her Domenic suddenly fell ill, started vomiting and passed away unexpectedly. She and Garcia didn’t notify any authorities, Aguilar said, explaining that they buried him in a “remote location” in Colorado, then drove south past the Mexican border until they arrived in Costa Rica.
The grandmother contacted the San Antonio Police Department and the FBI. An FBI agent spoke with Aguilar in Costa Rica, and she shared the same story she told her mother, but also admitted that neither she nor Garcia sought medical help for her son when he was sick, the documents state.
Later, in an interview with police, Aguilar said that Garcia abused her son, and that he was beating him in the moments before his death.
In an arrest warrant, investigators allege that Garcia caused Domenic’s death, that Aguilar failed to seek medical attention for him and assisted in disposing of his body.
Authorities are awaiting autopsy results from the Larimer County Medical Examiner’s office in Colorado, but say that the remains show evidence of trauma.
Aguilar and Garcia are facing charges of injury to a child.
Las Vegas Police Investigate Fatal Motorcycle Crash Near Eastern, Harmon
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) — The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department investigated a fatal crash involving a motorcycle Thursday afternoon.
According to police, the crash occurred near the intersection of South Eastern and East Harmon avenues around 1:07 p.m..
A 2002 Harley Davidson motorcycle going northbound on Eastern collided with a 2015 Toyota Camry making a left turn, police said.
The motorcyclist was taken to Sunrise Hospital, but later died, police said.
The driver of the Toyota Camry remained on scene, and showed no signs of impairment, according police.
Thursday’s crash was the 97 traffic-related fatality in Las Vegas Metropolitan Police’s jurisdiction in 2021.
The crash is still being investigated by LVMPD’s Collision Investigation Section
Father Accused Of Shooting His 2-Year-Old Son, North Las Vegas Police Say
AS VEGAS (FOX5) — A man is accused of shooting his two-year-old son on Tuesday, according to North Las Vegas Police.
Devon Lewis faces a child abuse and neglect charge, according to NLVPD and court records, in connection with the shooting on Sept. 14.
NLVPD said around 1:30 p.m. that day, police were sent to North Vista Hospital in reference to a 2-year-old boy suffering from a gunshot wound. The child was taken to University Medical Center, where he was admitted to the intensive care unit. NLVPD said the boy had critical injuries but was stable.
The shooting reportedly took place at an apartment in the 3300 block of Civic Center Drive, north of Cheyenne Avenue. NLVPD said Lewis, the boy’s father, was arrested in connection with the shooting.
According to court records, Lewis’ next court hearing was set for Sept. 30.
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