Father flees charges in toddler vehicle death case


News staff writer

January 31, 2007

Hood River County law enforcement officials are on the lookout for Jose Baeza Coyote, 24, the father of a toddler killed in a late summer traffic accident.

Coyote is believed to have recently fled from Hood River back to Mexico after posting a $1,000 cash bail. He was jailed in December for involvement in the Sept. 17 death of 2-year-old Gladis Baeza.

An outstanding warrant has been issued for his arrest. Anyone with information about Coyote’s whereabouts is asked to call the non-emergency dispatch line at 386-2711.

He and Erica Parker, 27, of Parkdale have both been indicted by a grand jury for second-degree Manslaughter, Criminally Negligent Homicide and DUII. In addition, Coyote was charged with Recklessly Endangering his surviving 3-year-old son, Juan Baeza.

Deputy District Attorney Carrie Rasmussen said the case involving Parker will proceed without the presence of the Coyote family. His wife, Maria Pisanos and young son have also apparently left the area.

“We have a dead child and a woman who drove head-on into the Coyote’s family car, so we’ll go on with that,” said Rasmussen.

According to reports, alcohol was consumed by both of the defendants prior to the fatal crash. The incident occurred shortly before 5 p.m. on Sept. 17 along Highway 281, about 16 miles south of Hood River.

Parker, behind the wheel of a 1978 Ford pickup, allegedly crossed the centerline of the southbound lane. She then reportedly hit the driver’s side of the 1991 Acura Integra being operated by Coyote. Also riding in that car were his wife and two children.

Although Gladis and Juan were both wearing seat belts at the time of the wreck, an Oregon State Police spokesperson said they were not restrained in approved safety seats. Following the accident, Gladis was transported to Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital where she died as a result of her injuries.

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