International man hunt underway for parents accused of abusing 5-month-old

by: Mike Petchenik Updated:

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SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. - A 5-month-old boy remains in critical condition and an international manhunt is now under way for the woman police said abused him.

Sandy Springs police said they were still searching for Caris Ayala-Rivas on charges of child cruelty.

They said Ayala-Rivas called earlier this month to report that Angel Pantoja was unresponsive.

When the boy was taken to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite, police said a social worker called investigators to report the abuse.

"The diagnosis by the doctor showed severe trauma to the brain," Capt. Steve Rose told Channel 2's Mike Petchenik. "We know something happened, physical trauma to the child, and our information is the babysitter has knowledge or is responsible for it."

Rose said Ayala-Rivas initially gave a statement to detectives, but when they wanted to question her more, she said she would need an attorney to be with her.

"The attorney later informed us the babysitter never showed up," said Rose. "We weren't able to contact her after that."

Police believe Ayala-Rivas skipped town with her husband, Noe Castillo, and are likely out of the country.

"We believe she's making an attempt to go back to El Salvador or Guatamala, not sure where, or perhaps to Mexico," Rose said, adding that police have enlisted the FBI and Border Patrol to help them.

Petchenik attempted to contact Ayala-Rivas on a cellphone number he found for her, but there was no answer.

A neighbor told our news partners at Telemundo that the couple moved out of their Roswell Road apartment recently.

Police are offering a reward for information leading to the capture of Ayala-Rivas and Castillo.

Anyone with information on this case can call Crime Stoppers at 404-577-8477.