Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Missing Sick Girl is ‘Safe and Well’ in Mexico, Says Dad

Surveillance footage taken at Phoenix Children's Hospital showing Norma Bracamontes with Emily.

The father of an 11-year-old who hasn’t been seen since her mother took her out of Phoenix Children’s Hospital prematurely told ABC that the child, who suffers from leukemia, is being treated in the family’s home country of Mexico. Emily Bracamontes has undergone a month of chemotherapy and has had her right arm amputated due to complications. Her father, Luis Bracamontes, blamed the hospital for the loss of her arm and said the family was overwhelmed by mounting medical bills. Bracamontes would not reveal where his daughter is being treated, and authorities are still searching for the girl. Phoenix Police Sergeant Steve Martos said Wednesday, “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.”

Emily’s mother, Norma Bracamontes, was caught on security cameras on November 28 leading Emily out of Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Authorities say Bracamontes changed her daughter’s clothes, put a wig on her head and removed a catheter that lead to Emily’s heart. The removal of the catheter leaves Emily’s chest unsealed and vulnerable to infection that could kill her in a matter of days, doctors say. According to Martos, the surveillance video also showed Emily and her mother getting into a dark van whose license plates were registered to another car. “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,” said Martos.

Martos said that Emily’s parents had done this before in California. Police Saturday stopped Luis Bracamontes at the U.S./Mexico border but he claimed not to know his daughter’s whereabouts.

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