No bail for Elk Grove woman charged with killing 3-year-old son

An Elk Grove Village woman who faces a first-degree murder charge in the Wednesday death of her 3-year-old son was ordered held without bail by a Cook County judge Saturday afternoon.

Joy Ramos, 22, of the 900 block of Perrie Drive will next appear at the Rolling Meadows courthouse on Tuesday, Sept. 19, on the murder charge and on two counts of aggravated battery to a child.

Elk Grove Village police said earlier this week that Ramos brought her son, Steven Figueroa, to Alexian Brothers Medical Center about 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, where he died.

Maria McCarthy, an assistant state's attorney, said an autopsy revealed that Steven suffered two lacerations to his liver and multiple bruises to his back, head and abdomen. The cause of death was determined to be blunt abdominal trauma due to assault.

McCarthy said Ramos admitted that she repeatedly hit Steven with a belt but claimed that she stopped hitting Steven as much in July after her boyfriend moved in. Ramos said her boyfriend frequently struck Steven with a belt, according to McCarthy.

Also living at the apartment was Ramos' 22-month-old daughter, Aaliyah, whom Ramos admitted to striking with a belt as well, McCarthy said.

Ramos' 6-year-old son, David, lived in the apartment until July. David told police that Ramos and her boyfriend repeatedly struck him with belts and that he did not want to live with his mother again, McCarthy said.

Ramos' boyfriend was not identified in open court and has not been charged with a crime. But in a news release issued Saturday night, Elk Grove Village police requested the public's help in locating James P. Jones, 25, whom they described as "a person of interest" in the case. Anyone with information on Jones should call police at (847) 357-4160.

McCarthy said Ramos told police that on Wednesday morning she found Steven unresponsive in her boyfriend's presence. The defendant and her boyfriend drove Steven to the hospital but the boyfriend left immediately upon arrival, she said.

According to a child abuse pediatrician consulted in the case, Steven's condition and injuries are consistent with having occurred the night before he was brought to the hospital, McCarthy said.

Associate Judge Maria Kuriakos Ciesil called Ramos a danger to herself and to society.

"Three children suffered allegedly from her hand or from her lack of being a mother if she did not intervene," Kuriakos Ciesil said.

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services also is investigating, a spokesman said Friday, declining to comment further.

James P. Jones
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