Family speaks in 'malnourished' baby case

Abraham Proenza

The family of a San Benito man accused in the death of his 4-month-old nephew spoke with Action 4 News on Friday.

Abraham Proenza remains behind bars under $1 million in bonds for injury to a child and murder charges.

But Atalia Proenza said the tragic death of Aiden Valdez has devasted their family but investigators got it wrong.

She said her brother does not belong behind bars.

Atalia said Abraham is a father of two and would do anything for children.

"Yes, he made a mistake by not taking the baby to get medical attention," Atalia said. "That's the only thing I would say he made a mistake on. But he took care of that baby like it was one of his own."

Atalia told Action 4 News that her jailed brother was actually in the process of trying to adopt Baby Aiden from his wife's sister who lives in Minnesota.

She said health complications were evident when Baby Aiden arrived around June.

"Every two hours she fed him and he would throw it up," Atalia said. "But my mom thought maybe he was teething. My sister-in-law thought it was the formula."

But the vomitting continued even while his wife and sister left for work in Minnesota.

Abraham did not seek medical attention.

The infant was found unresponsive at his trailer home outside in La Paloma last Tuesday.

Atalia said 911 tapes show that Abraham is innocent.

"Just by the sound of his don't think he cared," she asked. "He was freaking out."

But the question remains, Why would the former director of a daycare center With required knowledge in CPR, first aid and children's nutrition fail to take a baby with signs of distress to the doctor.

Atalia said her brother didn't have guardianship documents.

"If you take a child with no papers to a doctor, they probably will attend it but don't you think they'll take the child away from you," she asked.

Atalia said the fear of losing the baby gripped Abraham because he had yet to receive the adoption paperwork from Aiden's mom.

She said her brother made a decision out of fear of losing a son and a life was lost.

Abraham remains In solitary confinement for his own protection while his two young children are with his wife.