Montoya family on 10-month-old Marion's death - FOX34 Lubbock

Montoya family on 10-month-old Marion's death

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Marion Jester-Montoya has been at the center of a custody dispute for months and her dad said she'd still be alive if the state did its part.

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"We end up with baby toys, baby clothes, baby diapers and no baby because of ignorance," Sheila Montoya, Emilio Montoya's mother said.

Emilio Montoya is Marion's biological father. He said C.P.S. has been called several times leading up to her death. Montoya said he was concerned with how the girl's mother and the mother's boyfriend cared for the baby.

"I believe my concerns were rightly placed and I wish I could have done something," Emilio Montoya said.

The first time he called the state after Marion wouldn't stop crying. He took her to the hospital and she tested positive for methamphetamine. The second time someone else called C.P.S.

"Trevor Rowe's house is filthy, messy, there's poop everywhere, his kids filthy and literally roll in dog poop at his house," Montoya said.

The third time he called because Marion had a bleeding rash almost all the way down her leg.

"This is getting progressively worse and I'm going to get a call one day and that something bad is going to happen and I don't want that call. Something needs to be done now," Montoya said. 

That call came. And now, Marion is dead.

"To fit her into a little bitty back pack, he had to have literally stuffed her in there," Katrina Mata, Emilio's sister said.

Montoya said he had concerns about Trevor Rowe from just looking at his rap sheet that included theft, domestic assault, and abandoning or endangering a child with the intent to return.

"As a parent, I don't trust him, I don't want my kid there," Montoya said.

As for Veronica, Marion's mother, Montoya and his family said she wasn't a fit mother. Montoya said she didn't want to admit it for fear she would look like a bad mother to others.

"If you don't want her, give her away, give her up, don't don't keep her when you don't want her," Mata said.

"We were so excited after her grandpa died...this is who we have, we have at least something of him and now she's gone and she's not coming back and the mom is to blame," Meekayla Powers, Emilio's family member said.

Even though Rowe has been charged with Marion's death, family members said they're still waiting for justice.

"I hope he never gets out. I hope Veronica feels the same way and I know she's defended him on a lot of other things, but I don't think she can defend him anymore," Montoya said.

Montoya and his family believe C.P.S. was negligent and needs to be held responsible.

"Something needs to change. This isn't okay," Powers said.

"I don't care if this takes 20 years or 50, I will be on them til the end of time," Montoya said.

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services reports it's working a joint investigation with law enforcement. It would only confirm the family had "prior C.P.S. involvement." FOX34 reached out to the child's mother and she didn't respond. 

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