Additions to the original statement posted on June 13, 2017, are displayed below in red.
The Arizona Department of Child Safety mourns the death of Mary Diaz, who died June 9, 2017. She was five-months-old.
We offer our thoughts and prayers to Mary’s family.
On June 10, 2017, Glendale police arrested Mary’s mother, Amber Sagarnaga, for second degree murder.
DCS will assist law enforcement in any way possible to find justice for Mary.
On January 28, 2018, the Maricopa County Juvenile Court determined through a severance proceeding that Mary’s father, Phillip Diaz, failed to protect the child from Ms. Sagarnaga’s abuse and neglect that resulted in Mary’s death.
According to court records, Mr. Diaz was aware that Ms. Sagarnaga had physically abused Mary in the past and that Ms. Sagarnaga had mental health issues that impaired her ability to parent.
As for DCS history involving this family, the Department has received no prior reports on Mr. Diaz.
Ms. Sagarnaga does have a prior history with DCS.
In October 2015, DCS substantiated a report that Ms. Sagarnaga gave birth to a child who tested positive for marijuana.
Ms. Sagarnaga agreed to participate in DCS’s Intensive In-Home Services program while her children continued living with her.
During this time, Ms. Sagarnaga was provided Intensive In-Home Services, substance abuse treatment and was enrolled in the Healthy Families program.
She successfully completed the Intensive In-Home Services in September 2016.
On December 16, 2016, the Department received a report of neglect regarding Ms. Sagarnaga, alleging that she used marijuana early in her pregnancy with Mary.
DCS investigated and did not substantiate the report as both mother and baby tested negative for marijuana. All children were assessed as safe in the home. DCS did not have legal grounds to remove the child or force further participation in services.
The department offered several voluntary services to Ms. Sagarnaga, such as Healthy Families, parenting classes, and the CarePortal, which is a service that connects families in need of resources.
Ms. Sagarnaga declined to participate in every service DCS offered, except the CarePortal.
DCS did not receive any further reports regarding Ms. Sagarnaga until the report of Mary’s death on June 9, 2017.