The child taken from the cancer ward at Phoenix Children's Hospital has been alleged to be in Mexico with her parents, who believe she will receive better care at a local facility than in Arizona. The case caught national attention as officials warned that removing the child from the hospital could lead to her death.
Luis and Norma Bracamontes took their 11-year-old daughter, Emily, out of the hospital without medical approval one week ago. Her mother took the IV out of her arm, changed her into street clothes, and put a wig on her head in order to disguise Emily as they walked out of the hospital.
Officials were concerned because Emily has leukemia and also has a catheter in her heart. The catheter needs to be removed by doctors; if it is not, Emily could contract a fatal infection.
"If she contracts an infection, it really could be just a matter of days that could result in the young girl's death. It's pretty serious," policeman Steve Martos said.
The Bracamontes family alleges that they took their daughter out of the hospital in order to save her life. At some point, Emily contracted an infection and had to have part of her arm amputated, though the hospital and Bracamontes disagreed as to when and where she contracted the infection.
"They told my wife that she already had it," Luis told Telemundo. "That's not true. Her arm was healthy."
And Norma added that she snuck her daughter out of the hospital "because they had threatened and intimidated" them. She did not explain exactly how the Children's Hospital had threatened the family but mentioned that the family's insurance was running out and she felt pressured by the increasing medical bills.
As of now, the family has not been charged with a crime, but Luis and Norma could face charges of negligence and abuse if police decide to pursue an investigation.