Surviving Salcido Child Prepares For Birthday Party
PETALUMA, Calif. (AP) _ The surviving daughter of accused murderer Ramon Salcido looked forward to ice cream and cake at a festive third birthday party Monday as she recovered from a slashed throat allegedly inflicted by her father.
Authorities at Petaluma Valley Hospital planned the celebration for Carmina Salcido, and for surviving relatives and hospital staff who have cared for her since she was discovered in pajamas, bleeding and crying for her mother in a Sonoma County dump April 15.
Her sisters, Sofia, 4, and Theresa, 1, were found dead nearby on the garbage heap, their throats slit.
A newspaper reported Sunday that, contrary to initial accounts, investigators believe the three girls were the first of Salcido’s victims during the April 14 rampage.
The Santa Rosa Press Democrat, citing unnamed law enforcement sources, said Salcido slashed his daughter’s throats about 6 a.m., then drove to Cotati to kill his mother-in-law and her two daughters. He returned to his home in nearby Boyes Hot Springs to slay his wife and went to Grand Cru to fatally shoot his co-worker, Tracy Toovey.
The killing spree ended a few minutes later when Salcido shot and wounded another worker, Kenneth Butti, and tried to shoot Butti’s wife, Terri, the newspaper reported.
It said Salcido gave investigators details of the spree while he was en route back to Sonoma County last Thursday.
Salcido’s daughters weren’t found until Saturday afternoon, more than 30 hours after he left them at the dump, according to the newspaper’s account. He was arrested Wednesday in Mexico and deported to the United States.
Salcido has said the murderous rampage was triggered by his belief that his wife and Toovey were having an affair.
He is scheduled to enter a plea to the seven murder charges on May 5.
While her father read Louis L’Amour novels under 24-hour suicide watch at the Sonoma County jail, Carmina was pronounced in good condition Sunday by hospital spokeswoman Fran Adams.
Another spokeswoman, Mary Frost, said Carmina has received many birthday cards and more than 500 toys from throughout the country, along with clothes, antique dolls and other gifts.
Her favorites so far are a pair of white Reebok shoes with hearts on them, and a pink stuffed bear, Frost said.
Surgeons on Friday inspected her wound for infection. A feeding tube, inserted in a tracheotomy, remains, and doctors have not said when she will be able to speak.
Carmina is expected to remain hospitalized for another four or five weeks. Her grandfather and a few other family members have been her only visitors so far.
At funeral services last week, her grandfather, Bob Richards, and three uncles from New York indicated they want the child to live with family members when she is released from the hospital.
Jail officials, meanwhile, said a large metal plate has been put up to keep other inmates from looking into Salcido’s cell. Weather-stripping has been applied around the cell door to prevent anyone from slipping things inside.
When Salcido is moved from his cell for showers, exercise or court dates, the other 50 inmates on the floor are locked down until the move is over. Salcido is always escorted by at least three guards, the officials said.
Jail official Todd Hart said Salcido’s only requests as of late Saturday had been for a toothbrush, cigarettes, his next court date and something to read.
″He’s been real quiet,″ Hart said.
At Grand Cru Winery, business resumed Saturday for the first time since the slayings.
Tasting room manager Alan Wastell said he was uncomfortable with accounts that portrayed Salcido as a ″homicidal maniac″ prior to the spree.
″They want to believe that he looked and acted like a monster at all times,″ Wastell said. ″As disturbing as the thought may be, he was not a raving lunatic.″