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Mother seeks justice for toddler as Las Cruces man stands trial for her death

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico (KVIA) -- The second day of the highly-anticipated trial in the case of Lalo Castrillo kicked off Tuesday at Doña Ana County District Court. Castrillo is charged in the 2018 death of 2-year-old Faviola Rodriguez.

He faces a felony child abuse charge, which could land him in prison for life if convicted.

In September of 2018, police responded to an early morning report of a toddler who was not breathing. EMTs trying to save the little girl. They reported noticing bruises on her ribs and face. She was taken to the hospital where she was later pronounced dead.

The child's mother, Saundra Rodriguez, told investigators she had left Castrillo with the child while she went to work.

She told ABC-7 that she and her family have waited over four years for justice, as the case remained tied up in several delays including a mistrial, a pandemic, and a Supreme Court intervention.

"I try every day just to live through her, or let her live through me. I mean, it's been a struggle, you know, for my family, even myself, whenever it comes to holding a job just because I have really horrible PTSD, depression, I don't really sleep good," said Rodriguez.

She told ABC-7 that she wanted everyone attending the trial to be calm and respectful in the courtroom, to as not to jeopardize any chance of her baby getting justice.

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Leloba Seitshiro

Leloba Seitshiro reports on ABC-7 at 5 and 6 p.m. weekdays.


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