Report: Las Vegas infant weighed more at birth than at death

Updated March 6, 2018 - 5:50 pm

An autopsy performed on the body of a malnourished infant last week revealed that he weighed more on the day he was born than when he died, according to Las Vegas police records.

Hannibal Oceja was 5 pounds when he went into cardiac arrest on Feb. 25, the Clark County coroner determined. The boy weighed 6 pounds, 7 ounces at birth.

The 4-month-old’s cause and manner of death were pending with the coroner’s office on Tuesday.

Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center doctors told police that Hannibal should have weighed between 18 and 20 pounds, according to his mother’s arrest report.

More than once since that night, the report said, 24-year-old Loreana Martinez has said that her son was a “perfectly healthy” baby, arguing that her other children had “all developed small.”

But first responders and doctors who treated Hannibal on Feb. 25 said his “bones could easily be seen, his spinal cord appeared as if it was about to poke out of his skin and his rib cage could easily be seen,” according to the arrest report.

One paramedic asked Martinez whether her son was 5 weeks or 5 months old when they arrived at the family’s apartment on the 5700 block of Hacienda Avenue, according to the report. He was nearly 5 months old.

Martinez and Hannibal’s father, 29-year-old Anthony Oceja, were arrested days later. Each face murder and abuse charges in connection with their son’s death.

According to the police report, Martinez told detectives that her son’s doctor, Shazia Kirmani, said Hannibal “was doing great” in December at his three-month checkup.

Investigators determined that Kirmani instead told Hannibal’s mother that he was failing to thrive and suggested that Martinez supplement her breast milk, but Kirmani said she “was belligerent” and refused to listen, according to the arrest report.

Martinez was asked to monitor Hannibal’s weight closely and to bring him back in three weeks, but she failed to show up to her appointments scheduled Jan. 1, Jan. 29 and Feb. 13, the report stated.

In an interview with detectives, Martinez said she breastfed Hannibal “multiple times per day” for at least 45 minutes. She also told police that Kirmani was lying “about talking to her about supplementing her breast milk” and that she “never had any follow-up appointments scheduled,” the report said.

In a separate interview with police, Oceja said he was “unaware of the doctor telling Loreana the baby was not thriving,” according to the police document.

Before Hannibal’s death, the Clark County Department of Family Services had never investigated the family for abuse or neglect, records show.

But according to the arrest report, medical records obtained during the investigation showed that another one of the couple’s children was diagnosed with “failure to thrive” in April. Martinez and Oceja also failed to show up to several scheduled appointments for that child.

During a warranted search of the family’s apartment, police found photos of the couple’s other children on the refrigerator, and they “also appeared malnourished” when they were younger, according to the report.

The couple are being held at the Clark County Detention Center. Their preliminary hearing is set for March 19.

Hannibal’s death marked the 38th homicide investigated by the Metropolitan Police Department this year, and the department’s third death related to child abuse or neglect.

Contact Rio Lacanlale at rlacanlale@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0381. Follow @riolacanlale on Twitter.

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