DENVER – The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office is looking for a man who deputies allege brutally beat his girlfriend's 2-year-old daughter and left her with life-threatening injuries. The victim was found outside a Denver elementary school Thursday.
Deputies say Joshua James Gonzales, 21, beat, kicked and threw the little girl sometime on Monday, but the incident was not reported to law enforcement until Thursday when a citizen spotted the child outside Doull Elementary School in Denver.
Deputies say the victim was with her mother at the school when a concerned citizen called 911. The victim, who appeared to have been in dire need of medical attention, was rushed to Denver Health with life-threatening injuries.
Jenny Fulton, a Jefferson County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman, says Gonzales is in a relationship with the little girl's mother, but it is not clear if the mother was with the child the entire time after she was hurt.
"However, we do believe that she was aware that her child was seriously injured, and that the child needed medical attention," said Fulton, who also stated that no charges have been filed yet against the mother. "Our investigators are working with the D.A.’s office to determine what charges the mom might face in this case."
Doctors say the child had a lacerated liver and suffered severe head trauma, but she is expected to survive. However, the injuries could have long-term effects.
Gonzales is wanted for child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury, a class 3 felony. Deputies are seeking the public’s help in finding him, as well as sending out the fugitive unit to search for him.
"Everybody is affected by this particular crime, and that is why we are working so hard to locate this man," said Fulton.
Gonzales is a Hispanic male, 5’7”, 200 lbs, with black shoulder length hair, and a “W” and “S” tattooed on each arm.
If you see Gonzales or know of his whereabouts, please call 303-271-0211 immediately. If you have information about this case, please call the Sheriff’s Office tip line at 303-271-5612 or Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-STOP.