Former FCSO employee, current Casper foster parent faces aggravated child abuse felony charge

All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

(Casper, WY) – Casper resident and former Fremont County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) Patrol Deputy Jarrett Vargas, faces both aggravated child abuse and child abuse felony charges for an alleged incident occurring October 15th.

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Natrona County District Court documents filed on December 10th indicate Vargas faces these charges after law enforcement responded to a reported case of child abuse on the mentioned date. The victim, born in 2021, was being treated at an area hospital for severe head injuries, resulting in transportation to Denver Children’s Hospital via helicopter.

At the December 9th preliminary hearing, Vargas’s case was ordered to be bound to District Court, with an arraignment date set to be scheduled by next week.

On or around the afternoon of October 15th, Casper law enforcement was dispatched to investigate an alleged report of child abuse after responding to a call from an area hospital.

Officers were informed the victim had suffered a bilateral subdural hematoma on both sides of the frontal lobes of his brain, and that the infant was in the process of being life-flighted to Denver Children’s Hospital.

Officers then made contact with the infant’s licensed foster mother, who informed them she had left him in Vargas’s care that morning, and also commented that “Vargas was on her license as a foster parent.”

Upon receiving a phone call from Vargas informing her the infant was “having a seizure,” the foster mother advised he call 911.

Vargas then reportedly stayed at their residence while the foster mother accompanied the infant to the hospital with the ambulance, where she later informed law enforcement that she was aware of the infant’s injuries, but had no idea how he had received them.

A hospital doctor then informed officers of the severity of the injuries, advising they were “non-accidental in nature,” and were “common during incidents of being shaken.”

The doctor stated that another pre-existing injury was also discovered while assessing the current ones, and further explained the seizure was a direct result of “blood collecting on and irritating the surface of the brain.”

Officers were also informed the victim’s condition was categorized as critical, resulting in the flight to Denver Children’s Hospital.

Casper Police later located and transported Vargas for questioning, where he initially informed officers that the infant had been “screaming bloody murder” while in his care, and that he “became unresponsive” while changing his diaper, eventually calling for help once the seizure started.

Upon further questioning, court documents indicate Vargas “admitted he was frustrated” with the infant’s cries, was “tired and frustrated with being a foster parent,” and that he and the foster mother were “always getting up at all hours of the night to care for the needs of the foster babies.”

After being informed of the findings from the hospital, specifically the non-accidental injuries, Vargas was eventually reported to have stated that he “aggressively shook” the victim, and continued to do so while carrying him to the bedroom, at which point the seizure began.

Law enforcement later made contact with the Child Protective Team in Denver, who confirmed the previously reported injuries.

A physician on the team who treated the victim stated the injuries were not “accidental in nature,” categorizing them as “life-threatening, and not caused by normal “comforting” of an infant.”

The physician also confirmed that this type of traumatic brain injury would have “long term repercussions,” that could have “lifelong consequences that would require follow up surgery, treatment and therapy.”

Vargas’s arraignment date has yet to be scheduled.

The maximum penalty for an aggravated child abuse felony charge is 25 years imprisonment.

The maximum penalty for a child abuse felony charge is 10 years imprisonment.

County 10 will provide more information on the case as it becomes available, which can be viewed here.

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