Child Dies From Hypothermia: Father Robert Aragon Charged
The Associated Press has released the sad story of one child found dead in the Idaho snow, and another suffering from hypothermia, after their father, Robert Aragon, age 55, allowed the two siblings to attempt a ten-mile walk to their mother's home for a Christmas visit. The death occurred in Twin Falls, Idaho. The Aragon children were trying to walk in knee-deep winter snow.
Hypothermia occurs when the body can no longer produce enough heat to maintain normal body temperature. Severe hypothermia leads to respiratory and cardiac failure, then death. According to the Mayo Clinic , 700 people die each year in the United States as the result of hypothermia.
The tragedy involved 11-year-old Sage Aragon and her 12-year-old brother, Bear Aragon, who were riding with Robert Aragon when his truck became stuck in a snowdrift near state Highway 75, north of Shoshone in south-central Idaho. The family was enroute to the home of the children's mother, JoLeta Jenks, who lives in West Magic.
Robert Aragon stayed behind with his truck, as he and another adult tried to free the vehicle. The children were told to walk to their mother's home by Aragon. JoLeta Jenks later told the Times-News, "They didn't even call me, telling me they were walking."
Sage Aragon was found dead in the snow, as the result of hypothermia. Bear Aragon was found alive, near a rest area 4.5 miles from Robert Aragon's truck, wearing only long underwear. Police suspect he discarded his clothing after becoming delusional from the effects of hypothermia. It appears that the two separated from each other at some point during the chilly walk. According to JoLeta Jenks, Sage told her brother, "I'm going back". She was pronounced dead at a Ketchum hospital.
JoLeta Jenks is not married to Robert Aragon. She does not understand what prompted Aragon's decision to allow the children to walk to her home in knee-deep snow, at temperatures recorded from 27 degrees above zero to minus five. She says she knows that Robert Aragon is …"going through hell right now." It was JoLeta Aragon who alerted authorities to begin searching when no one showed up at her home.
Robert Aragon is being held in the Blaine County jail on a $500,000 bond. He appeared in the 5th fifth District Court, on December 29, after Judge Mark Ingram appointed a public defender for him. When Aragon was told he may face life imprisonment, he banged his head on the defendant's table in anguish, uttering, "Oh my God". Please be aware of the cause, symptoms and effects of hypothermia during the remaining winter months.