Parents arrested after 9-year-old son dies

Erik Osuna, 29, and Monique Osuna, 27, of Boise, Idaho. [Image credit: Ada County Sheriff's Office]

Just after 9:30 pm on Tuesday September 1, police and paramedics responded to a Meridian, Idaho residence on a report of a 9-year-old boy that was not breathing and had no pulse.


Emrik was transported to the pediatric ICU at St. Luke's hospital for treatment, but was pronounced dead at about 1:30 am Wednesday.

Emrik Osuna, 9.
[Image credit: KTVB c/o Marie Osuna]
A short time later both 29-year-old Erik Osuna and 27-year-old Monique Osuna were arrested on a charge of felony injury to a child.


According to the Idaho Press, Monique is said to have admitted in a police interview, to having kicked Emrik in the groin and to have beaten him with household items such as a belt, dog leash, and a frying pan. She is said to have stated she used the leash "because it was heavier than the belt."


Monique told police that she would withhold food from Emrik and that at night, he was put into a closet to sleep.


Additionally, Monique allegedly stated that she assigned physical activity as punishment to the boy including jumping jacks and wall sits, which he had to complete while she worked at home as a result of the ongoing restrictions.


“She essentially had access to him all day long," prosecutor Tamera Kelly said during a virtual hearing on September 3.


During his interviews, Erik is alleged to have told police that recently Emrik had been given nothing to eat but rice and water.  While Kelly stated that he did not take an active roll in the abuse, "he admitted ... he did nothing to save his son."


Rather than acting to save his son, he acted in an effort to hide what had happened by removing nanny cameras from the residence and giving them to another to dispose of, Kelly stated during the hearing.


During the course of the investigation, officers recovered a text message that Erik had sent to Monique at 5 pm on Tuesday indicating that they needed to take Emrik to the hospital.


"I know you're scared," the message said. "I am too." But emergency services were not called until more than four additional hours passed.


Upon examination at the hospital, Emrik was found to have bruising to his legs, buttocks, groin and torso.  He was additionally found to be severely malnourished and dehydrated.  An official ruling on cause and manner of death is still pending.


According to Fox three other children, ages 9, 4, and 4 months were removed from the home and are in the custody of Idaho's Department of Health and Welfare.


KTVB spoke with Emrik's aunt, Marie Osuna who was left in shock after the news of what had happened to her nephew.  "Why would they starve him like that? It's just food. What did he do to deserve to be starved or even to be hit, like a dog?" she asked. "He just needed love. He just needed love, that's it, and to feel safe."


Erik has been charged with injury to a child and infliction of great bodily injury, a felony, and destruction or concealment of evidence which is a misdemeanor.  His bail was set at $2 million, but he will be unable to post bail.  According to his jail records, there is a federal hold due to his immigration status which negates the possibility of bail.


Monique now faces a charge of first degree murder.  Her bail was also set at $2 million.


The couple is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on September 17.