San Tan Valley mother, boyfriend arrested on child abuse charges

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James Scott Sunderland and Amber Lee Jean Query By Jennifer Thomas James Scott Sunderland and Amber Lee Jean Query By Jennifer Thomas

SAN TAN VALLEY, Ariz. -- A San Tan Valley woman and her boyfriend are facing child abuse charges following the death of her 2-year-old son.

Amber Lee Jean Query, 27, and James Scott Sunderland, 24, were taken into custody on June 11 at Sky Harbor International Airport as they were attempting to fly to Alaska.

According to the Pinal County Sheriff's Office, deputies responded to a medical emergency involving Query's 2-year-old son on May 31. Deputies were told the boy had stopped breathing during a diaper change while he was home with Sunderland. Query was working at the time.

Sunderland told deputies that days earlier he had been hiking with the boy when he fell down headfirst and rolled 8 to 10 feet.

Sheriff's spokeswoman Tamra Ingersoll said Query acknowledged she knew about the boy's fall and said they had been watching him since the incident, but he appeared to be eating and acting normal.

The boy was airlifted to Phoenix Children's Hospital where he died later that night.

Doctors told investigators that the child's injuries did not correlate with the couple's story, according to Ingersoll.

On June 10, bench warrants were issued for Query and Sunderland for child abuse. They were arrested the next day.

Query and Sunderland were booked into the Maricopa County Jail on the bench warrants then transported to Pinal County Adult Detention Center where they each are being held on $75,000 bond.

The sheriff's office and the Pinal County Attorney's Office are awaiting autopsy results from the Maricopa County Medical Examiner's Office, which will determine the cause of death.