Toddler Survives Mom’s Murder-Suicide


(Courtesy: KDVR)

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By Will C. Holden and Thomas Hendrick

Denver (KDVR) — Some day, Isabel Perez will learn that she was shot by her mother. She’ll also learn that her mother committed suicide after killing her sister and brother on the same tragic day in early February 2013.

But Friday wasn’t a time for tragedy. Friday was the day officials announced the 2-year-old would not become the fourth fatality from that fateful day.

Doctors at Denver Health Medical Center confirmed that Isabel, critically wounded in the shooting on Feb. 6, came out of her coma on Feb. 11. Just over two weeks after her brush with death, Isabel will be moved out of intensive care and into rehabilitative care.

“She did have a very severe gunshot wound to the brain, and I’m very impressed with the fact that she got here alive,” Dr. Ken Winston, a pediatric neurosurgeon, said at a press conference Friday. “Credit for that goes to the paramedics.”

Winston, who called Isabel “tenacious” and said her condition was improving faster than expected, stopped short of calling her recovery a miracle — but just short.

“I don’t usually use that word,” Winston said. “But if you could ever use it, this would be the example.”

Answers about Myra Nunez’s attack on her children have remained elusive. But the crime scene, which one Denver officer called “the most gruesome I’ve ever seen,” was anything but inconclusive.

The Denver Office of the Medical Examiner has since determined that Navaeh Morales, 4, died of multiple gunshot wounds, while Eric Perez, 1, and Myra, 23, were each shot once.

“I don’t know what drove my sister to do this,” Myra’s brother Antonio Nunez said. “We’ll just leave it in God’s hands. He will be the judge of her.”

Doctors said they have been impressed with Isabel’s recovery.

“Young people have a great tendency to recovery and shift around different parts of the brain that can do function, like speech and movement,” Winston said.

During the news conference, one doctor read a statement from the family expressing their gratitude for the hospital staff and from the community.

“Isabel is a miracle,” the statement said. “She is a testament of strength.”

The Perez family has established a fund to help defray medical costs for Isabel’s treatment. Anyone interested in donating can do so via the “Isabel Perez Benefit Fund” at any Wells Fargo Bank branch.

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