As she watched the ultrasound monitor, Taisha Ramirez, felt her protruding belly and her unborn son inside.
Her brother, Kenny Gonzalez, went to Ashtabula County Medical Center with Ramirez early Sunday morning after her boyfriend, Marque Daquan Brown, beat her up, he said.
“She had a bad headache,” he said. “She couldn’t walk. The hospital did nothing but check to see if she had a normal pregnancy. Then, they released her.”
Gonzalez said Ramirez was concerned about the baby during the ultrasound and she was relieved to know the baby appeared to be fine.
When they got home, Ramirez, who complained of a terrible headache, started bleeding from the nose.
“That’s when her heart stopped,” he said.
Although filled with Ramirez’s relatives, her west side home was very quiet Wednesday. A profound sadness hung in the air as Gonzalez described what happened in their house Sunday morning.
Gonzalez said he woke up after hearing a commotion in the bathroom. When he walked by, he saw the door was open a crack. He looked in.
“I saw (Brown) hit her in the face,” he said. “He was punching her face.”
Gonzalez got his older brother up and they pulled Brown off of their sister, who was crying. She was hurt, he said, and she was only 17.
“It was her first baby and she was so happy until then,” he said. “I looked in her bedroom and I saw someone had written, ‘Kill you!’ on the wall.”
Ashtabula police were called at 5:50 a.m. to come to the West 48th Street home. When they arrived, Brown was arrested and taken to the Ashtabula Justice Center. The officer noted Ramirez had facial injuries.
Gonzalez said the trouble began two weeks ago when his sister discovered Brown was frequenting the local bars. Her brothers told her that Brown also went to a gentlemen’s club.
Consequently, the family didn’t want Brown around any more, but he came knocking on their door at 3 a.m. Sunday.
“I didn’t let him in,” Gonzalez said. “My sister let him in because she wanted to talk to him.”
The fight ensued about two hours later, according to police reports.
Ramirez, who was eight months pregnant, went to the hospital where she was treated and released for minor facial injuries, according to the Ashtabula County Coroner’s Office.
A few hours later, paramedics were called back to West 48th Street because Ramirez was found unresponsive, according to the coroner’s reports.
“She was bleeding from the nose,” Gonzalez said.
Ramirez was transported by ambulance back to ACMC, where she was pronounced dead at 10:34 a.m., according to the coroner’s office.
“The baby was already dead,” Gonzalez said in a whisper.
Just talking about his dead sister and nephew makes Gonzalez’s heart ache, he said.
His brother, Ismael Ruiz, feels the same and it shows in his brown eyes.
“She was so happy that she was going to have this baby,” Ruiz said.
The family believes the hospital should have kept Ramirez overnight for observation.
“They did nothing,” Gonzalez said. “They released her and she couldn’t even walk. She was hurt.”
ACMC’s Vice President of Business Development, Tina Stasiewski, said in a prepared statement, “We are committed to the quality of care we provide to our patients. Upon her arrival, she was thoroughly examined by a physician and determined to be stable for discharge. While the Cuyahoga Coroner is currently reviewing the matter our thoughts remain with the family during this time.”
Brown, 20, now faces two counts of murder and felony domestic violence charges in the death of Ramirez and her unborn child, City Solicitor Michael Franklin said.
He was arraigned Tuesday in Municipal Court and is being held in the city jail on a $820,00 cash or surety bond. A preliminary hearing has been set for June 5.
Ramirez’s body has been sent to Cuyahoga County for an autopsy, but it may take a few days because of the holiday weekend, officials said.
This isn’t the first tragedy Ramirez’s family has endured in the past few years.
Their father died two years ago, as well as an infant sister. There are nine siblings altogether.
Friends are trying to help with funeral costs by setting up an account on www.GoFundme.com. Anyone who wants to donate should go to the website.
There also is a classic car show planned for 7 p.m. Saturday at the Thirsty Bird, 2321 West Ave., Ashtabula, where donations will be taken for the family.
By Shelley Terry - Star Beacon, Ashtabula, Ohio (MCT)
©2014 the Star Beacon (Ashtabula, Ohio)
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