Deputies arrested a Pinal County woman and her boyfriend at an airport Tuesday after a grand jury indicted them in the death of the woman’s 2-year-old son.
Amber Lee Jean Query, 27, and James Scott Sunderland, 24, were arrested at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport before they could board a flight to Alaska, a Pinal County Sheriff’s Office official said in a news release.
The San Tan Valley couple were booked into the Maricopa County Jail and face child abuse charges.
On May 31, deputies were called to a home in the 2300 block of East Magma Road in San Tan Valley for a medical emergency involving a 2-year-old. Deputies were told the toddler stopped breathing during a diaper change. The boy was in the care of Sutherland while his mother, Query, was at work.
“Sunderland informed deputies that days before he had been hiking with the boy and (the toddler) had fallen down head first and rolled about eight to 10 feet,” the sheriff’s official said. Query told deputies “she knew about the boy’s fall and said they had been watching him since the incident, but he appeared to be eating and acting normal.”
The child was airlifted to Phoenix Children’s Hospital where he died later that night.
“Upon subsequent investigation, Pinal County Sheriff detectives were told by the doctor treating the child that the injuries to the child did not correlate with the couple’s story,” the official said.
Monday bench warrants were issued for Query and Sunderland for child abuse.
The investigation is ongoing and investigators are awaiting the completion of an autopsy report to determine the toddler’s cause of death.