WEST VALLEY CITY — Police said they believe a man has fled to Mexico after beating his ex-girlfriend and her children and even partially shaving the head of her 3-year-old daughter.
Candido Alfredo Martinez-Ceron, 25, was charged Tuesday in 3rd District Court with aggravated kidnapping, a first-degree felony, aggravated assault, a second-degree felony, and three counts of domestic violence in the presence of a child, all third-degree felonies.
Martinez-Ceron was also charged with four counts of child abuse, a class A misdemeanor, and one count of assault, a class B misdemeanor.
It started on Aug. 3 when the child's mother, a 24-year-old who asked to remain anonymous and called T.L., came home from work to find her former boyfriend and son cleaning the floor. She said he seemed agitated and looked different than she had seen him before.
T.L. said she asked Martinez-Ceron where her two other children were. According to court documents, Martinez-Certon then told T.L. he had shaved her three-year-old daughter's head.
"I asked him why he did that and he said because she didn't want to call him dad," T.L. said.
She said she and Martinez-Ceron started arguing. He then picked up a wooden board from her daughters' bed.
"He started hitting me with that saying ‘What are you gonna do about it? Who are you? What are you gonna do? " T.L. said.
Martinez-Ceron then went after the children, ages 3, 5, and 9, according to court documents.
"He started picking up the stick and hitting my oldest," she said.
T.L. also said Martinez prevented her and her children from leaving his sight for at least two days. She said he became paranoid and stayed up for almost 48 hours straight, watching her sleep and even going into the bathroom with her.
On the morning of August 5, Martinez went to work as if nothing was wrong and that's when T.L. and the kids fled.
"People ask me why I didn't leave when it happened, why didn't I defend myself?" T.L. said. "My worry when he was hurting me and my kids was if he knocked me out, what would happen to my kids?"
T.L and police said they believe Martinez-Ceron has fled to Mexico. She is currently pregnant with his child and wonders if he will come after her.
"If he comes back, he will be arrested," she said. "One thing that we have is the police, and we do have our laws that protect us."
T.L. said it started like any other relationship, with hopes and dreams.
"We talked about getting married," she said. "We talked about moving to Mexico together and making our own life together.
Now, T.L. said she hopes her story helps others in abusive relationships get out quickly like she did.
"Get out, because it won't stop no matter how many times they tell you, ‘I'll change, I'll change, I love you, I promise I won't do it again.' It's not true," T.L. said.
Contributing: Peter Samore