Dehydration cause of woman’s death |

Dehydration cause of woman’s death

The death of Debbie Bariames, whom authorities found next to her malnourished infant while her husband listlessly watched television nearby, was the result of severe dehydration, a pathologist’s report stated.

Severe dehydration is a natural cause, meaning the Douglas County District Attorney Office will not file additional charges against George Bariames, 36. He faces a maximum of 20 years in state prison if found guilty on child abuse charges.

A prescription drug was found in the woman’s system but did not contribute to her death, the toxicology report stated. Authorities found her body Sept. 21 and have said she may have been dead for about a week.

The drug, an antidepressant, could have been in Bariames’ system for up to a week, said Steve Finnell, a deputy coroner with Washoe County Coroner’s Office.

The finding added increased strangeness to an already odd case.

“This person stopped drinking for some reason,” Finnell said. “We did the examination and that’s what we came up with: severe dehydration. But (we can’t tell) the manner it arrived.”

Even though Debbie, 35, was dead several days before being found with bruises, there is no crime of failing to report a death, said Deputy District Attorney Dina Salvucci.

George Bariames was being held in Douglas County Jail in Minden on $200,000 bail. If Bariames posts bail, he must be supervised by his parents in Las Vegas, have no contact with his child and not consume any alcohol or unauthorized prescription drugs.

Salvucci said she has evidence Bariames “used and abused” prescription drugs.

The infant son, Nicholas, is in child protective services care in Douglas County. Tina Snider, Debbie Bariames’ best friend, and Debbie’s mother intend to take foster care classes at Las Vegas, where they both reside, in hopes of raising Nicholas. The child is in good health, Snider said.

Snider was puzzled by the report’s determination.

“If she was so thirsty, why didn’t she get a glass of water or have George get it for her?” Snider asked.

Bariames was buried at a Carson Valley cemetery. Snider said there was a memorial service for her in Las Vegas on Nov. 26, which would have been her 36th birthday.

A preliminary hearing at Tahoe Township Court for Bariames is tentatively scheduled for Jan. 7.

— Contact William Ferchland at

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