A sick girl last seen on CCTV footage leaving an Arizona hospital with her mother against medical advice is being treated in Mexico, her father claims, as authorities indicate concerns have been raised about her safety.
The sick girl in Mexico is 11-year-old Emily Bracamontes, who had been in the Phoenix hospital for a month due to a chemotherapy course to treat her leukemia. But last week, the sick girl — who had an arm amputated in the course of her hospitalization — was filmed leaving the hospital a day before her release along with her mother.
Emily Bracamontes has since been the subject of a frantic search — a search hampered by the fact that the sick girl is said to be in Mexico as well as the fact that privacy laws prohibit law enforcement from divulging certain details about the investigation due to her illness and treatment.
And, while father Luis Bracamontes says the sick girl is in Mexico, authorities are concerned for reasons they have declined to confirm that Emily’s safety has not been assured — and they’ve gone so far as to say that the child’s early departure from the facility could be a deadly infection risk in the absence of treatment. According to police, the girl’s mother unhooked a tube in her chest to pump medication into her heart, and the wound leaves her susceptible to an opportunistic bug.
While Emily’s parents insist the sick girl is in Mexico and being cared for by health care professionals, Luis Bracamontes was stopped by US Border Patrol agents this weekend and claimed no knowledge of his daughter’s whereabouts.
A statement from the facility where Emily was last seen released the following statement urging her parents — who authorities say face neglect charges — to cooperate in getting treatment:
“Phoenix Children’s Hospital is deeply concerned about Emily’s safety and well-being and continues to cooperate with law enforcement … If Emily’s family has questions about her care, we encourage open communication and discussion of options with the care team. “
The hospital confirmed that ability to pay is not a consideration in the level of treatment a child like Emily would receive.
ABC reports that Phoenix police say “the father’s story raises even more red flags,” quoting police Sgt. Steve Martos:
“We’re in the same spot we were in last Thursday when we began looking for her … We understand the right of a parent to change doctors, to change hospitals, we’re not challenging that. We just want to make sure that Emily is getting the right medical attention that she requires to prevent this potential horrific ending.”
Martos continued, noting that the vehicle used to transport Emily bore plates that did not match the registration:
“It all just makes us even more curious that they’re unwilling to provide us with basic information to confirm what he is saying, and they’re still trying to hide Emily … There’s certainly the potential for some criminal charges … we’re going to continue looking for her until we either run out of leads or she is found. We can’t just drop it.”
Worryingly, a medical expert consulted by the network said that the sick girl in Mexico is at severe risk, adding that a “potentially deadly infection is not only possible, but likely.”