FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. (FOX 2) – Farmington Hills police say the homeless couple accused of abusing and murdering their 15-month-old son last fall repeatedly called their baby a demon and the baby was brutalized with a phone cord, a hanger and their hands.
Isaias Porras and his wife, Amanda, have both been charged in the October 3, 2021 death of their son, Isaiah Daniel Porras-Jajou. On Friday, April 29, the parents were in court for a preliminary examination where charting and seizing the Details were released by police and detectives who found the baby’s body.
Police said their investigation began when they were called in to carry out a wellness check on the child around 5.30pm that day. Police say the toddler and his parents were long-term residents at Motel 6 on Grand River and 10 Mile.
First to arrive was patrolman Zachary Kosal. He testified that he first spoke with the baby’s grandmother and aunt, who showed messages that Amanda had said the boy had injuries and that they would seek treatment. The messages also made it clear that God was with them and that they were fine.
Kosal went up to room 257 and knocked several times. He said there was no movement or noise inside the room, so he went to see the grandmother, who was renting the room, and got a room key.
When he came back the second time he knocked and said he had a key and he would come in. Only then did Amanda open the door.
Kosal said she opened the door slightly, just enough to have a conversation, for a few minutes. He said Amanda claimed her son was with his grandmother, but Kosal explained that he had just spoken to the grandmother and that Isaiah was not with her.
A few minutes later, Kosal said Amanda had opened the door completely and he said the room seemed to be packed, as if they were about to leave. He said there were no children visible but there were objects, including a stroller, which indicated a child was in the room at any given time.
He said that at that time it started to rain extremely hard outside and he was ordered to enter the room to take shelter from the weather. Once inside, he checked under the two beds and moved the stroller. Then he moved blankets to one of the beds. It was there that he reported finding Isaiah – under two blankets and a pillow – and with red marks on his face.
Kosal said it was very clear he was deceased.
During defense cross-examination, Kosal was asked if the officers had a search warrant to enter the room. He said he was not tasked with obtaining a search warrant but was ordered to enter the room due to heavy rain outside.
Kosal was later removed from his duties as a witness and lead investigator, Det. Robert Gerak, was called next. The details of what Gerak learned from Isaias and Amanda are sometimes stunning and graphic.
Gerak explained that the officers entered the room because of the impending storm. He said they also spoke with the grandmother who said she learned from Amanda that the baby had at least three head injuries.
When the baby was found, Amanda and Isaias were arrested. They both read their rights at the police station and it was a bit of a sticking point for the defense, who debated whether Isaias wanted a lawyer or not. He had indicated yes, he wanted a lawyer, but also indicated he wanted to proceed without one, Gerak said.
The judge ultimately ruled that detectives had done enough to preserve his rights and allowed the questioning to continue.
On October 3, the first time Isaias was questioned, he told detectives that he first slapped the child with his hands, but then used a phone charging cord and eventually a hanger. Gerak said the beatings began in mid-September and Isaias said the child was a distraction to their business and he thought “he was stupid and causing a scene”.
The 15-month-old baby was in his playpen inside the motel that day when Isaias told the detective he grabbed the baby so forcefully that the baby’s head and neck snapped off. a way that made him convulse.
Amanda was present at the time and Isaias said they both stuffed a cloth into the baby’s mouth and then tied it to the back of his head to keep it in his mouth.
Gerak said Isaias told him he was “nursing” the baby and that the 15-month-old was in trouble around 2 a.m. on October 3. He said he’s tried hydrotherapy in the tub, “iso-biogel therapy” and CPR.
Isaias told the detective that the baby was convulsing for a while and he finally put him back in his playpen.
This conversation took place on Sunday, October 3.
The next day, the autopsy results came in and Isaias returned for a second interview with detectives. Post-mortem photos showed the boy had bruises on his body, including one on the left side of his head with a bruise.
“He looked at this picture and he said ‘I did this,'” Gerak said.
The detective said he hit the baby with the back of his fist.
There were more injuries to Isaiah, however. Detective Gerak said he was bruised “from head to toe”, including some on his legs, just above his knees, which Isaias described as “finger slaps”.
“It looked like you could see indentations of a palm print and three fingers on each leg that resembled the type of pressure you use to hold someone down,” Gerak said.
Another wound formed a triangle shape on her stomach. Gerak said Isaias admitted it was from a coat hanger.
“There was a very big wound in the child’s waist, a kind of triangle – an elongated triangle – I believe he called it a goncho, which he described as a coat hanger,” Gerak said. .
He said he noticed that Isaias also had injuries.
“I also noticed his joints. I saw that he had joint injuries in his right hand,” Gerak said.
Isaias told the detective that those injuries were from hitting the baby in the head on Saturday.
There was a third interview, prompted by Isaias’ request, although Gerak cannot remember why.
During this interview, he told detectives that he hit the child “out of ignorance”.
Lawyers for Isaias and Amanda then questioned Detective Gerak, specifically about Isaias’ mental state.
“After the second interview, as we were nearing the end of the interview, he said his son wanted to cross” and then after we told him to get up and we were going to take him back to his cell, he said something about him (Isaias) wanting to cross,” Gerak said. “We asked him if he was planning on killing himself, which he denied.”
Isaias was placed on suicide watch as a result of this conversation.
Gerak said it did not appear at any time that Isaias was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. He also said he had repeatedly said that his 15-month-old son had demonic behavior.
“I believe he called his son a demon – multiple times,” Gerak said. “I stated in the report that his behavior was bizarre. The way he spoke referring to the baby – he said the baby could hold adult conversations, claimed the baby attacked him and Amanda .”
Regarding the interviews with Amanda, Gerak said they also spoke at three different times, the first on the evening of Sunday October 3 or early Monday October 4, when Amanda admitted to hitting the child.
“She said she and Isaias had taken turns slapping the baby. She said that over the past two weeks they had ‘taken even better care of him,'” Gerak said.
Amanda said the baby’s body passed away on Sunday and Isaiah was having a seizure. In response to this, she said she had tied her hands.
“She used a phone charging cord and tied his hands in front of him,” Gerak said. “(He did this) because his arms were flailing from the convulsions.”
Gerak said she also described her son as a demon.
“She also called her baby a demon. She said there was a lot of paranormal activity in the room,” he said.
Gerak said Amanda admitted to lying to the police when they arrived and observed what
“She said she saw Isaias beat the child. She also participated in hitting him because she ‘wanted to keep it equal,'” Gerak said.
Amanda told Gerak she would do “finger slaps” and also poked the baby in the face with her middle finger in what she called “corrective behavior,” according to Gerak.
The prosecutor then referred to text messages, in particular one where Amanda asked her mother for money.
“She said she wanted to go back to Denver to ‘plant’ the baby,” Gerak said. “Plant, like a seed.”
This message was sent while the boy was still alive, but she told Gerak it was “while he was getting there”.
Gerak said Amanda thought about calling 911, but Isaias told her he could heal the baby. He said she never approached anyone for help and acknowledged she could have done more.
She also said what Isaias was doing to the baby was wrong, Gerak said.
“She said Isaias was trained in paramedicine and believed he could cure the baby,” he said.
Amanda admitted to seeing her husband beat the baby, which she described as “brutal”, according to Gerak.
Gerak said they spoke for a third time as Amanda wanted to explain what happened – and why. She said that after the baby was beaten, she smoked marijuana and lay down next to the baby.
Amanda’s attorney then had the opportunity to question her, where she questioned Amanda’s rights.
Gerak and Amanda spoke at the scene while she was in the back of the police cruiser. He said she was not under arrest at the time of the conversation and he eventually read her Miranda Rights at the police station. It was there that he asked if she had been “brainwashed”.
In response, she said he “coached” her and assaulted her.
The lawyer asked about Amanda’s phone and whether she had given him permission to go through the device.
“I remember asking her on the spot originally when we spoke and the subject came up again because she had several different devices. She had volunteered or offered to us – actually asked us to go look in her phone. That’s when I think (the other detective) asked her for a pin, I said I already had it. She said “no, it’s another phone””,
Gerak said she also provided the PIN for that phone.
During interviews, Gerak said she did not appear to be under the influence and was cooperative and understood what was being discussed.
The preliminary hearing has ended at this point in the day, but a fifth witness will be called at the next court hearing, which has not been scheduled for Friday.