| Crime |

NC's Vanessa Sanchez, Andrew Tomczak Busted in CO Springs for Baby's Death

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

A couple in North Carolina has been arrested in Colorado Springs for the death of the woman's eighteen-month-old baby, Violet Sky Cortez.

The night before, the mother, twenty-year-old Vanessa Sanchez, had reportedly attended a support group for parents who'd lost a child — and when she was taken into custody, she and her boyfriend, 21-year-old Andrew Tomczak (who is not the baby's father), are said to have been planning to leave the Springs after spending several weeks there.

Now, however, they'll be extradited back east to face charges that Violet's passing was, in the words of a coroner's report, "non-accidental."

Here's a family photo of Violet: featured on a GoFundMe page created to raise cash for her paternal family, the Cortezes.

The GoFundMe page's narrative reads in part:

An angel came to earth in the form of Violet Sky Cortez for 556 days. Some people dream of angels and we were blessed to hold one in our arms. Sky was a joy and a blessing to everyone who was fortunate enough to know her. She was the “perfect” child. There was just something special about Sky. She captured our hearts from the very beginning. The loss of Sky leaves many hearts that are broken. She had only begun to live. She passed through our lives too soon. For every day of her life and the years she had yet to live, we will all be changed because of her story. God, in his infinite mercy, rescued Sky from the evil that touched her. God knew she was just too beautiful for this world.

According to the Fayetteville Observer, the baby's parents dialed 911 a little shy of 2:30 p.m. on January 29.

They told dispatchers that they'd found Violet unresponsive in the bedroom of an apartment on the 500 block of Lambert Street in Fayetteville.

From the beginning, authorities considered the death to be suspicious.

So, too, did Alcelyn Cortez, Violet's aunt, who told ABC11 in North Carolina that Sanchez wasn't interested in caring for the baby, adding, "I would just ask why she didn't give her to us if she didn't want her. We were begging for her to come to us. If she didn't want her, she didn't have to have her. Her mentality was she didn't want her but she didn't want my brother to have her. I don't understand why it had to come to that."

Then, earlier this week, an autopsy report was finally made public. The station reports that the coroner ruled that the death hadn't been accidental.

The coroner believes that Violet died from a head injury caused by multiple blunt force impacts that caused severe bleeding. In addition, her genital area showed signs of cuts and bruising.

A warrant for the arrest of Sanchez and Tomczak was finally filed yesterday, May 20, and it was acted upon by members of the El Paso Sheriff's Department.

That's because the pair had been staying at a four-plex in Stratmoor Hills, not far from the intersection of South Academy and I-25, for the past few weeks, reports KKTV.

The station was on-hand when the pair were transported to jail, capturing this image of Sanchez....

...and this one of a camera-shy Tomczak:

Sanchez and Tomczak are expected to be transported back to North Carolina to face charges related to Violet's death.

Tomczak has previous arrests, including one in 2012 for selling a synthetic drug called K-3. Look below to see one of his previous booking photos, followed by a report on the arrest from KKTV.

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.