Prelim hearing for Hocog & Rojas in August - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Prelim hearing for Hocog & Rojas in August

by Mindy Aguon

Guam - A Mangilao couple remains behind bars on $100,000 cash bail each charged in the death of their 14-month-old daughter. With both her parents in jail, there's been no effort to give the toddler a proper burial. 

34-year-old Ray Anthony Hocog and 33-year-old Mary Rojas and their seven children lived at a home along Diaz Street in Mmangilao.  The couple is charged with manslaughter and child abuse.  They couple remain behind bars accused of neglecting and starving their youngest child to death.  The medical examiner ruled that the toddler contracted pneumonia as a result of being malnourished.

Court documents state the baby died weighing less than when she was born and hadn't received any medical attention since her birth last May. Neighbors were shocked to learn about what happened to the baby, telling KUAM News they never saw the toddler.  They did see the couple's other children playing outside in the yard and occasionally with their parents.

At the direction of child protective services, the remaining six children have been placed in the care of relatives.  The residence now sits vacant except for the family's two dogs that sit guarding the house retreating to their dog houses for shade. Police and prosecutors haven't said why they believe the toddler was malnourished and not given medical treatment.  She died on the 16th of this month after she was found not breathing.  

KUAM News has confirmed the couple was receiving aid through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and that both Hocog and Rojas worked for Lufthansa Sky Group, a catering company.  The couple hasn't had many run-ins with the law.  According to court records, Rojas was charged with theft of property in 2005.  She is also listed as a party in a number of small claims- and child support-related cases.  Hocog, however, has no criminal record.

KUAM News has confirmed there have been no efforts yet by other family members to lay the toddler to rest.  Medical Examiner Dr. Aurelio Espinola says in cases where a body remains unclaimed, the government will normally wait one month before public health shoulders the expense for a burial.

Hocog and Rojas meanwhile await a preliminary hearing scheduled for August 1.

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