COLORADO SPRINGS — A couple has been arrested for the death of a five-year-old girl which occurred in January 2022. Affidavits detail the extent of abuse the child suffered moments before her death.

On Jan. 13, CSPD was notified of an unresponsive five-year-old girl. The Colorado Springs Fire Department (CSFD) had arrived at the child’s residence and requested immediate assistance from the Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD).

The child was later identified as Emily Canales.

CSFD attempted to save Canales’ life on scene and later transported her to a Children’s Hospital. She was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital.

Officers reported that Canales had substantial bruising on the left side of her rib cage and oblique area. There was additional bruising across her forehead and areas throughout her body. Police also noted injuries to Canales’ face which included an abrasion on her nose. Other observations noted in police reports state that Canales’ hair had been shaved with small areas of her head that did not have any hair.

Witness testimonies reported they had seen Canales with longer hair shortly before her death. A neighbor reported that Canales was seen playing outside in cold weather not dressed appropriately. When asked about her coat, Canales said she had one inside her residence, but that her mother had locked her out of the apartment. Another neighbor reported hearing yelling and banging on the walls coming from the apartment.

In June 2022, the El Paso County Coroner’s Office provided a final autopsy report which ruled Canales’ death a homicide. The coroner stated that Canales died as a result of multiple blunt force injuries.

Final Diagnosis listed the following:

I. Multiple Blunt Force Injuries:

  • Extensive contusions, face, scalp, trunk and extremities.
  • Abrasions, face, ears, abdomen, back and hips.
  • Subcutaneous hemorrhages, neck, shoulder and back.
  • Nearly confluent subscalp hemorrhage/contusion.
  • Thin, lightly clotted subdual hemorrhage, left hemisphere greater than right.
  • Cerebral edema and acute neuronal necrosis consistent with global hypoxic-ischemic injury.
  • Thymic subcapsular hemorrhage.
  • Strap muscle hemorrhages.
  • Lung contusions.
  • Diaphragm hemorrhages.
  • Abdominal wall hemorrhage.
  • Greater and lesser omentum hemorrhages.
  • Liver lacerations and subcapsular hemorrhages.
  • Pancreatic transection.
  • Renal hilar hemorrhages.
  • Renal pallor.
  • Reriadrenal soft tissue hemorrhages.
  • Hemorrhages of small and large bowel and mesentery.
  • Hemoperitoneum with scant clotting (900 mL)
  • Fractures of lateral aspects of left #6 through #10 ribs.

II. Other findings:

  • Multifocal bald patches of scalp.
  • Incidental adenovirus detected on postmortem nasopharyngeal swab.
  • Noncontributory postmortem, bacterial cultures.

These injuries indicated there were multiple incidents of abuse that contributed to the death of Canales.

27-year-old Brianne Escamilla, the mother of Canales, and 26-year-old Matthew Urias, the mother’s boyfriend were interviewed separately on more than one occasion. Police said both suspects gave slightly different information each time.

Brianne Escamilla

According to Escamilla’s statement, her five-year-old daughter would self-harm and hit herself which caused the bruises seen on Canales’ body. Escamilla also stated that she could hear Canales being abused by Urias from the thumping noises coming from outside her workroom in their home. Canales’ hair was cut on two occasions as punishment before Escamilla decided to shave it. She admitted to hitting her child on the head multiple times and said it was ‘her fault Emily [Canales] was dead.’

Escamilla stated that Urias would also abuse her daughter by hitting Canales and picking her up by the ears and ribs. Urias would make comments such as, ‘it would be easier if Emily [Canales] wasn’t there,’ according to Escamilla’s statement.

On Jan. 13, the morning of her daughter’s death, Canales fainted and began urinating dark orange fluid. Escamilla observed ‘brown stuff’ coming out of her nose and mouth before she stopped breathing.

Matthew Urias

According to Urias’ statement, he could hear Canales repeatedly being shoved against the walls of her bedroom by Escamilla.

He stated that Canales had fainted multiple times and had ignored her complaints regarding stomach pain throughout the days leading up to her death.

The night before Canales died, Urias suggested the couple call an ambulance, but Escamilla refused saying Canales ‘was being dramatic.’

Urias admitted to beating Canales with a belt moments before the child died.

Urias was arrested and taken into custody on June 29. Escamilla was arrested and taken into custody on July 5. Both suspects were charged with Murder in the First Degree, Class One Felony.