A Pahrump woman and her teenage son were arrested by New Mexico state police last weekend on suspicion of child abuse after the teen allegedly killed his 12-year-old sister by sitting on her face and throat for 45 minutes until she stopped moving, authorities say.
Heather Rooks, 39, and her 17-year-old son, Khachadourian Rooks, were arrested on Dec. 1, after state police were alerted to an unresponsive girl on Interstate 40 in Cibola County. The mother and son have been charged with child abuse resulting in great bodily harm, according to the New Mexico Department of Public Safety.
The family was driving through New Mexico on their way home when the girl “threw a tantrum,” the department said, and Khachadourian Rooks apparently sat on her to restrain her.
The children’s grandfather was driving, Heather Rooks was in the front passenger seat and the two children were in the back seat.
When the girl stopped moving, according to the department, her grandfather pulled over and began performing CPR on her. She was flown to an Albuquerque hospital, where she died three days later from her injuries, officials said.
In light of the girl’s death, the mother and son could face additional charges, according to the department. The pair were booked into the Cibola County Detention Center, where they remained without bail on Friday.
The child’s grandfather is not facing charges in connection with the death, the department said Thursday, though the investigation was active and ongoing.