Mesquite mother charged with child abuse tipped off police to older son’s death

A Mesquite woman police say falsely claimed her 7-year-old son had cancer to collect donations was also the mother of a 12-year-old Las Vegas boy who died last year when police say his stepmother ignored his appendicitis, the Review-Journal has learned.

Shawnanna Starr Flores, who was being held at the Clark County Detention Center under the last name Guerrero, was arrested Friday on three felony counts including obtaining money under false pretenses, theft and child abuse. Her bond was set Monday at $380,000, jail records show.

Mesquite police said Flores, 36, held a car wash on Aug. 24, which raised $404, and a garage sale, which netted an unknown amount of money. A fund was established for the younger son at Wells Fargo Bank and money jars were placed in businesses around Mesquite.

In the earlier case, Flores had asked for an autopsy for Emmanuel Mercado, the older son who lived with his father and stepmother, and told police the results, leading to the arrest of Kalinda Mercado on a murder charge.

Emmanuel died on Feb. 4 2012 after his appendix burst and sepsis, a complete-body inflammatory state caused by severe infection, had consumed his organs. According to police, Emmanuel’s stepmom ignored his symptons for at least a week.

Police began investigating Flores after she failed to provide medical documentation supporting that her 7-year-old son had cancer to a local community charity that was planning to hold a benefit. Flores’ son was supposed to be one beneficiaries of the event.

According to police reports, Flores then complained to police that the charity, Carnival for Cures, was using her sons photograph without her permission, telling an officer that the charity continued to harass her.

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