Daily Mail Online: LONDON, England – An Idaho court heard the horrific testimony about the death of a young a boy after he was allegedly starved and tortured to death including trauma to his penis by his stepmom who worked from home during lockdown.
Erik and Monique Osuna appeared in court on Wednesday for a hearing in which prosecutors presented witnesses to try to convince the judge that first-degree murder charges were warranted, KTVB reported.
Emrik Osuna, 9, died in September after paramedics arrived at his parents’ residence in Meridian and found him not breathing with vomit crusted in his hair.
The court was shown photos taken at their apartment the night he died in which he is seen lying naked and unconscious on the floor with bruises covering his body, the outlet reported.
Osuna allegedly locked Emrik in a closet at night, fed him nothing but rice and water and subjected him to strenuous physical exercise
A prosecutor previously said Erik Osuna is a flight risk because he is in the US illegally
Monique Osuna’s former friend Hannah Berry, who had worked with her at Blue Cross, testified that the stepmom often whined about the boy’s behavioral problems – complaints which had increased in the months before his death.
Berry told Osuna that she believed he might have Reactive Attachment Disorder.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the rare but serious condition happens when infants and young children do not establish ‘healthy attachments with parents or caregivers.’
‘Reactive attachment disorder may develop if the child’s basic needs for comfort, affection and nurturing aren’t met and loving, caring, stable attachments with others are not established,’ according to the Mayo Clinic.
Berry said that Osuna took her stepson to doctors who told her ‘he was a fine kid’ and it was not immediately clear if Emrik was every formally diagnosed with the mental health disorder.
The friend suggested that Osuna should install nanny cameras to monitor his behavior and told her friend to punish Emrik with exercises like running, push-ups and wall-sits, KTVB reported.
Osuna texted Berry the night that her stepson died and told her friend that something was wrong with him.
Berry found Emrik lying motionless on the floor in the living room when she arrived and held his hand – which she said felt cold.
“He was laying down and he was covered in blankets – I mean, it looked like he was sleeping,” she told the court.
Berry eventually told the parents to squirt Pedialyte into Emrik’s mouth with a syringe and suggested they trying to stand him up to see if he would wake up, KTVB reported.
Emrik took his “last breath” as they tried to stand him up and Erik Osuna allegedly called 911 around 9.40pm, Berry testified.
“It was a deep breath, and then it was just silent,” she told the court.
Berry said Osuna then performed CPR which caused Emrik to “spew a milky liquid from his nose and mouth”, KTVB reported.
The boy’s father then allegedly handed Berry the nannycams and told her to put them in her car – which prompted his attorney Edwina Elcox to question why that statement was not picked up on the speakerphone call to dispatch.
Erik Osuna was speaking quietly, Berry said, and she had agreed to put the cameras in the car because she thought it was his marijuana or drug paraphernalia.
Meridian Police Officer Scott Frazier then testified he saw Emrik lying on the carpet when he arrived at the apartment.
Frazier said Monique Osuna was ‘frantic’ and in tears while characterizing Erik Osuna as more “stoic”, KTVB reported.
A police officer who responded to the apartment the night Emrik died told the court that his penis appeared to have horrific trauma
Emrik Osuna is pictured in an Iron Man costume, left, and eating a hearty Thanksgiving meal, right
He told the court that he initially thought Emrik had a serious long-term illness and asked Monique Osuna what the boy was diagnosed with.
‘He was very emaciated, he appeared ill, his eyes were sunk into his head. He was pale,’ he said.
Monique allegedly replied that Emrik was diagnosed with ADHD, Frazier said.
He said he traded off performing CPR with another officer until paramedics arrived and took over – taking off the boy’s clothes as they treated him and revealing dark bruises that stretched from his inner thighs up to his lower back.
Frazier told the court that Emrik’s penis appeared to have horrific trauma and described it looking like someone ‘had left a tightened rubber band around it,’ KTVB reported.
Ada County Paramedic Jana Reed told the court that Emrik was wearing a diaper and asked his parents why.
‘I was told ‘he kept wetting himself so I put a diaper on him’,’ she testified, though it was not immediately clear who she claimed made the comment.
The abused child is pictured happily holding snow before his tragic death last year
Paramedics got Emrik’s heart beating again after about 20 minutes and hurried him to a local hospital in a desperate bid to save his young life but he later died
Reed testified that Emrik had no pulse and was not breathing with vomit ‘caked in his hair and around his face,’ KTVB reported.
Paramedics got Emrik’s heart beating again after about 20 minutes and hurried him to a local hospital in a desperate bid to save his young life, Reed said.
Doctors transferred Emrik to the pediatric ICU at St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital in downtown Boise – where he died weighing just 44 pounds.
Joseph Miller, a detective with Meridian Police, testified that Monique Osuna initially claimed that Emrik was injured while ‘playing rough’ with neighborhood boys who she allegedly claimed had hit him with a dog leash.
But Miller testified that Osuna later caved in under questioning and admitted that she violently abused her stepson since the beginning of 2020 after the birth of her infant daughter.
Osuna allegedly confessed to Miller that she had whipped the child with numerous items including: a belt, leash, backscratcher, wooden spoon, and frying pan.
Emrik lived with three siblings, ages nine, four and four months. Two of his brothers are pictured above with him
A judge previously ordered the couple held on $2million bond each and barred them from having contact with their remaining children
She sometimes would kick Emrik in the crotch and beat him with the pan ‘every other day’ for months, Miller testified.
Miller added that Osuna also allegedly forced Emrik to sleep in the hall closet without bedding and would prevent him from escaping by blocking it with chairs.
Osuna allegedly claimed she put Emrik in the closet because he had threatened her other children, Miller said.
Prosecutor John Dinger asked Miller if Emrik had spent ‘his last night alive in the closet.’
‘He did,’ Miller responded, according to KTVB.
Osuna allegedly told Miller that she treated Emrik differently from her other three children who medical professionals said were found with no signs of abuse.
The couple’s three other children, ages nine, four and four months, were placed into protective custody with Idaho Health and Welfare.
Prosecutors previously said that the abuse happened while Monique Osuna worked from home amid the coronavirus pandemic.
‘Due to COVID, she’s been working from home and since [Emrik] was not in school, she essentially had access to him all day long,’ prosecutor Tamara Kelly had said in court.
Miller testified: ‘She said she was harder on him. She said she lashed out at him – hitting him with a pan and making him exercise while she worked, and that he only took a break when she took a break.’
The boy’s father allegedly was aware of the abuse but failed to stop it and he has also been charged with first-degree murder as well as injury to a child and concealing evidence, court records show.
Miller said that Emrik was forced to do push-ups, jumping jacks and ‘inchworms’ for hours at a time, and that Emrik was punished further if he got tired and that food was withheld for five days before he died.
‘He was always in trouble for something,’ Miller said.
A judge previously ordered the couple held on $2million bond each and barred them from having contact with their remaining children.
Emrik’s birth mother is currently in a California jail in connection with alleged abuse of Emrik’s younger siblings, WBIR reported.
Emrik’s maternal aunt, Irene Zepeda, told the outlet that his birth mother is suffering for not being there for Emrik and participated in nightly vigils held after his death.