Elk Grove police find 'person of interest' in boy's death

  • James P. Jones

    James P. Jones

  • Joy Ramos

    Joy Ramos

 
 
Updated 9/18/2017 2:06 PM

Elk Grove Village police said Monday they located and are speaking with a "person of interest" in their investigation into the death of 3-year-old Steven Figueroa.

No charges had been filed against 25-year-old James P. Jones as of Monday morning, Elk Grove Deputy Police Chief Nick Olsen said.

 

Jones, the boyfriend of Steven's mother Joy Ramos, was identified as a person of interest in the criminal investigation Saturday when police first sought the public's assistance in locating him.

Ramos, 22, is facing charges of first-degree murder and aggravated battery to a child stemming from Steven's death last week.

She was ordered held without bail when she appeared in Cook County bond court Saturday. Her next court hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.

Elk Grove Village police reported that Ramos brought Steven to Alexian Brothers Medical Center about 10:30 a.m. Sept. 13, where he died.

Maria McCarthy, an assistant Cook County state's attorney, said an autopsy revealed the boy 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 him as much in July after her boyfriend moved in. Ramos said her boyfriend frequently struck Steven with a belt, according to McCarthy.

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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.

Both of Steven's surviving siblings are being looked after by family, Olsen said. The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services also is investigating.

Ramos told police that on the morning of Sept. 13 she found Steven unresponsive in her boyfriend's presence, McCarthy said. They drove Steven to the hospital, but the boyfriend left immediately upon arrival, she added.

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.

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