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Daycare worker broke baby’s legs and said she’d ‘rather be deported than go to jail,’ Utah police say

Unlicensed Salt Lake City, Utah, daycare work Elvira Ortega, 66, broke a 1-year-old boy’s legs, police say, and then said that she would “rather be deported than go to jail.”
Unlicensed Salt Lake City, Utah, daycare work Elvira Ortega, 66, broke a 1-year-old boy’s legs, police say, and then said that she would “rather be deported than go to jail.” Salt Lake County Jail

A daycare worker in Salt Lake City, Utah, broke both the legs of a 1-year-old boy in her care — and admitted as much to police, according to court records.

When 66-year-old Elvira Ortega spoke to police after the incident, the unlicensed daycare provider said she had rammed the baby into the bathroom floor feet-first on Feb. 22, fracturing both of the child’s legs below his knees. Ortega also told Salt Lake City police that she’d “rather be deported than go to jail,” Fox 13 reports.

Ortega was arrested by Salt Lake City police on suspicion of felony child abuse, and was taken into custody Monday, KUTV reports. Doctors diagnosed the child victim with broken legs at Primary Children’s Hospital on Feb. 23 — the day after Ortega allegedly broke the child’s legs.

Ortega had also been taking care of several other children at her in-home daycare, which she was running with her daughter, KUTV reports.

Salt Lake police detective Greg Wilking told the Deseret News that the number of children being cared for at the unlicensed operation changed from day to day. Wilking also told the newspaper that he was not sure if Ortega’s daughter was present during the alleged child abuse or not.

Police wouldn’t comment on Ortega’s immigration status, according to Fox 13, but did say that Ortega could be a flight risk.

Police said the incident is a reminder that parents should be cautious about where they send their children for daycare, KUTV reports, and that guardians should double check that any care provider has a license.

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