Stateline woman had been dead a week
Authorities may wait a month on a toxicology report to determine what may have killed a Stateline woman who apparently was dead for a week while her husband and infant son occupied the family’s home.
The body of Debbie Bariames, a new resident who moved to Stateline from Las Vegas with her husband and baby, was found Saturday night by Douglas County sheriff’s deputies in a Market Street apartment.
Bariames’ 10-month-old son, Nicholas, was found malnourished, neglected and unresponsive to stimuli next to her body. Tahoe-Douglas paramedics rushed the baby to Barton Memorial Hospital, where he was transferred to UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento.
He remained in serious condition Monday night, a hospital spokeswoman said.
The dead woman’s husband, George Bariames, 36, was taken into custody on charges of child abuse and neglect. He remains in Douglas County Jail on $25,000 bail and is expected to be arraigned today at Tahoe Township Justice Court.
The Washoe County Coroner’s Office reported finding bruises on Debbie’s arms and legs, which appear to have occurred after her death.
While an autopsy failed to disclose the cause of death, toxicology results could provide authorities with more information when they are completed in the next few weeks.
Douglas County sheriff’s Lt. Mike Biaggini said there were no signs the woman perished from a violent death and would not comment on the alleged bruising.
“At this point everything is suspect because we don’t know how she died,” Biaggini said. “Certainly we are holding the dad responsible for the condition of the child.”
The sheriff’s department received a call from an unidentified friend of the Bariames who reportedly spoke to the husband and became concerned about the woman and child.
Before deputies knocked on the apartment door around 9 p.m. Saturday, they saw the husband sitting on a couch with a body on the floor, Biaggini said. The man answered the door and invited authorities inside after a short conversation.
Monday, the Bariames’ neighbors declined comment. A deputy stood guard below the second-story apartment to make sure the crime scene remained untouched.
On the wooden railing in front of the door sat an uncapped, half-full bottle of Pedialyte, used to rehydrate babies suffering from diarrhea. A chair, baby stroller and small bike remained near the apartment’s entrance.
Inside, the apartment was dark.
“They had just moved in the beginning of September so there were a lot of items unpacked,” Biaggini said. “The place was in disarray.”
Biaggini said the neighbors didn’t notice anything to warrant attention. George Bariames was a slot technician in Las Vegas before moving to Stateline. The couple was reportedly unemployed.
— Nevada Appeal Staff Writer F.T. Norton contributed to this report. Contact William Ferchand at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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