PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. – On Tuesday, June 11th, 2013, a San Tan Valley mother and her boyfriend were arrested at Sky Harbor International Airport on a child abuse warrants from a case originating in Pinal County.
On May 31st, 2013, the Pinal County Sheriff Office responded to 2300 block of East Magma Road in San Tan Valley for a medical emergency involving a 2-year-old. Deputies were told the 2-year-old boy stopped breathing during a diaper change. He was home with the mother’s boy-friend James Scott Sunderland, 24-years-old. Sunderland informed deputies that days before he had been hiking with the boy and had fallen down head first and rolled about 8 to 10 feet.
Amber Lee Jean Query, 27-years-old, the mother of the boy, was working when her son stopped breathing. She acknowledged she knew about the boy’s fall and said they had been watching him since the incident but he appeared to be eating and acting normal.
The child was airlifted to Phoenix Children’s Hospital where he died later that night. Upon subsequent investigation, Pinal County Sheriff detectives were told by the doctor treating the child that the injuries to the child did not correlate with the couple’s story.
On Monday, June 10th, 2013, a Pinal County Sheriff’s Office Homicide Detectives presented the child abuse portion of this incident to the Pinal County Grand Jury. As a result of the detective’s testimony, two Bench Warrants were issued for Query and Sunderland for child abuse.
On Tuesday, June 11th, 2013 both suspects were taken into custody at Phoenix Sky Harbor as they were attempting to fly to Alaska. The pair was taken to the Phoenix Police Department and booked into the Maricopa County Jail on the Bench Warrants. They have since been transported to Pinal County Adult Detention Center where they are being held on Child Abuse charges with a bond of 75,000.00 dollars each.
The investigation into the cause of death of the child is still ongoing. The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office and the Pinal County Attorney’s Office are awaiting autopsy results from the Maricopa County Medical Examiner’s office which will determine the cause of death to the child.