Local News

Fayetteville couple charged in infant's death arrested in Colorado

Posted May 20, 2015
Updated May 21, 2015

— A Fayetteville mother and her fiancee charged in the January death of an 18-month-old girl were arrested Wednesday evening in Colorado.

Vanessa Ariana Sanchez, 20, and Andrew Tyler Tomczak, 21, were found inside a residence in El Paso County, Colo., the El Paso County Sheriff's Office said. Both are charged with first-degree murder and felonious child abuse resulting in serious injury.

Sanchez is the baby's mother.

Authorities told KKTV, the CBS affiliate in Colorado Springs, Colo., that the couple had their clothes packed and were planning to leave Thursday. A detective told the station that had they left, it was unknown if they would have been caught.

The couple's bond and extradition information were not immediately available. Fayetteville investigators said they have filed extradition paperwork. Tomczak was charged with assault by strangulation in North Carolina in 2014, according to court records.

Fayetteville officers responded to 528 Lambert Street on Jan. 29 regarding the baby, Violet Cortez, who was found unresponsive in a bedroom. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Investigators said the couple was charged based on information received from the state Medical Examiner's Office. Authorities have not released the cause of death.


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  • Kristin Byrne May 21, 2015
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    Or maybe people should just not procreate until they're mature enough to handle a child. Sadly, that never happens for some people.

    Let's not blame anyone but those who chose to bring a child into this world and then kill it. Having a child is a choice.

  • Bobby Correct May 21, 2015
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    Not sure I can agree about the mental disability part. Parts of our society have lost their conscience and some are just plain mean. The majority of this type of crime is greed motivated. They want to eliminate the financial burden of a child. It's the self-centered value system that is growing daily.

  • Walter Smirth May 21, 2015
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    Incredible sad

  • Russell Chapman May 21, 2015
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    As a father, I take exception to your comment. It's the parents job to teach and raise the child. The parents could be 2 mom's, or 2 dad's or a more "traditional" parent of a mom and dad. Either way, it's everyone's job, not just the mother or grandmother as you say.
    The two that were arrested were not only unprepared, but they have some sort of mental disability. They have to in order to hurt a child.

  • Mark Farmer May 20, 2015
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    I wonder how long they have been looking for them. Maybe the day after the child died.

  • Aanritsen Deur May 20, 2015
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    Too many people today having babies who have no clue regarding normal child development stages and how to deal with them.
    We use to learn all this at the knees of our mothers and grandmothers. Now mothers are chasing careers and grandmothers often live dozens of state's away. So children are going untaught, and it's putting their children in danger when they have them.