Parents of Utah girl killed in 2011 shootout in Washington file lawsuit
The parents of a 13-year-old Utah girl who was shot and killed in Washington state in 2011 have filed a civil lawsuit against the government entities who were caring for Astrid Valdivia. She ran away from a foster care treatment home five days before she was fatally shot by the 31-year-old man with whom she left the state.
Astrid's parents, Gregorio Valdivia and Jacqueline Rimoloa, do not ask for a specific amount in the lawsuit filed last week in 2nd District Court. Named defendants in the case include the Utah Department of Human Services, Utah Youth Village, two therapists who treated the teenager, and two companies who provide ankle monitoring services for the state.
According to the lawsuit, Astrid's parents placed her in state custody after she left Utah in October 2010 with Anthony Allen Martinez. The teen was sent to the Utah Youth Village group home, and was ordered to wear an ankle monitor bracelet at all times.
In January 2011, Astrid obtained a knife and twice cut off her ankle monitor while under the care of Utah Youth Village at both a group home and treatment home, according to the lawsuit.
On Jan. 18, 2011, Astrid cut off the monitor and left the Utah Youth Village treatment home, but it wasn't until the next day that the Utah Youth Village proctor parents or the ankle monitoring company were aware the teen had left, according to court papers. During that time, Martinez took Astrid to Washington state.
According to the lawsuit, an acquaintance of Martinez notified Kitsap County Sheriff's Office that Martinez was with a minor who he may be sexually involved with and that he had a gun. The acquaintance worked with police to arrange a meeting with the man at a Port Orchard Walmart on Jan. 23, 2011, without Martinez's knowledge that law enforcement was involved.
It was at that Walmart that Martinez engaged police in a shootout, where he injured two deputies and was shot once in the leg by a deputy. When Astrid ran towards the man, he shot the girl twice, according to law enforcement. He then fatally shot himself in the chest.
Astrid's parents allege in the lawsuit that the defendants should have provided their daughter with a "secure environment worthy and capable of overseeing the life and health of children trusted to their care." They allege the defendants acted "negligently and carelessly" when they failed to prevent Astrid from running away, failed to report in a timely manner that the teen cut her ankle monitor, and failed to timely report the girl missing from the Utah Youth Village treatment facility.
The Utah Department of Human Services would not comment on the lawsuit Wednesday.
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