The mother of a pregnant 22-year-old Glendale woman who died in 2014 said she has found some peace following the arrest this week of the man who police said was supposed to love and take care of her daughter but instead let her perish.

The mother of a pregnant 22-year-old Glendale woman who died in 2014 said she has found some peace following the arrest this week of the man who police said was supposed to love and take care of her daughter but instead let her perish. 

Bridget Charlebois, who was unable to move her arms and legs because she was quadriplegic, was expecting her first child with fiance and caregiver Andres Bohn Reyes when she got pneumonia. Investigators say Reyes, 28, neglected to call 911, allowing Charlebois to die. 

Three years later, investigators with the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office and Glendale police connected Charlebois’ death with the lack of care they said she received from Reyes. 

RELATED: Man arrested in 2014 deaths of fiancee, unborn son

Reyes is charged with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of vulnerable-adult abuse in Maricopa County Superior Court following his arrest earlier this week. 

Court records say Reyes had abused his fiancee for months inside their Glendale apartment.

Charlebois’ aunt described her niece as a kind and caring woman whose tragic death mirrored her traumatic early childhood.

Charlebois ‘was the center of our family’

Charlebois’ mother, Paula Charlebois, described her daughter as having a gentle, caring naivete that made her see only the best in those around her.

“I believe that’s what got her in trouble. She only wanted to see the good,” Paula said. “She was sunshine and had such kindness, generosity and trust. She is anything that is bright and beautiful in the world.”

Paula said her daughter was the victim of violence as an infant and was violently shaken to the point of losing the ability to move her arms and legs by the time she was 2 years old. 

Charlebois was adopted at 8 years old by Paula and her husband, Richard, who have found a calling in adopting and fostering 35 children. 

As a child, Charlebois quickly found her way into the hearts of her newfound family.

“She was the center of our family; she was our core,” Paula said. 

Charlebois was nurturing to her young siblings and wanted to become a teacher, Paula said. She was pursuing that dream when she met Reyes at Glendale Community College. 

Charlebois, who relied on the assistance of caregivers, wanted to be like her friends, who she saw going out and finding significant others.

“No 22-year-old wants to be sitting at home with Mom. She wanted to grow up like any 22-year-old would. This guy was there and gave her attention,” Paula said. 

Nearly a year before Charlebois’ death, she moved out of her parents’ home and moved in with Reyes at an apartment near 59th and Olive avenues.

Paula said she and other family members had suspicions he was “kind of shady” and told Charlebois but didn’t want to fight with her as they feared she would pull away.

“I didn’t want to see her upset or stressed. I didn’t know she was so afraid at the time. I wish I would have pushed her harder to get away. I didn’t know it was so bad,” Paula said. “We just couldn’t get her away.”

Paula said she saw the sparkle fade from her daughter’s eyes as Reyes became possessive and began to abuse the 22-year-old, who was unable to physically defend herself, court records said.

Witnesses said Reyes previously shot Charlebois with a semiautomatic airsoft simulated handgun on at least two occasions in 2013, according to police reports.

Court records also said Reyes on at least one occasion abandoned Charlebois at their apartment for more than 12 hours as she sat in her own excrement before being rescued. Her primary-care physician said the incident could have likely resulted in her death or serious physical injury, court records said.

‘He watched my daughter die’

In late January 2014, Charlebois had fallen ill with pneumonia and Reyes was being paid as her caregiver after she dismissed two others who had been with her for 10 years. 

Reyes was certified by the same company that her previous caregivers were a part of, Paula Charlebois said. He was trained to bathe, clothe and feed Charlebois, in addition to handling medical distress through alerting emergency medical services. 

Though details of what occurred remain unclear, court records say Reyes neglected to provide care or call 911 as a pregnant Charlebois died. 

On Feb. 2, 2014, Reyes frantically called Paula telling her that Charlebois wasn’t “breathing right.” 

Paula and her sister, Carla Lewis, told him to call 911 and rushed to the apartment but found several police officers at the residence.

“It was very clear who was responsible for this right off the bat,” Paula said. “… He watched my daughter die. He watched his son die.”

Her sister, Lewis, said a 911 call could have prevented the death. 

“To know about the abuse she went through as a baby and for her to go out that way is horrible. It’s unthinkable,” Lewis said. 

An autopsy by the Maricopa County Medical Examiner’s Office determined Charlebois was carrying a healthy 9-month-old boy who could have been born had a medical intervention taken place, police records said.

Paula said she did not know how volatile the relationship was or even that her daughter was pregnant until after Charlebois’ death.

“She would have been the most amazing mother any kid could have wanted. She was robbed of the opportunity to be his mom. We were robbed of the opportunity to be grandparents and my children were robbed of the chance to be aunts and uncles,” she said. 

Investigating the deaths

Following Reyes’ May 17 arrest in Phoenix, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office released a statement giving some insight on the death investigations.

Reyes also was wanted on a felony child-abuse warrant out of California, court records say.

The combined complexity of the case and depth of medical examinations needed to connect the deaths to lack of care resulted in the Glendale police collaborating with the County Attorney Office’s cold-case unit beginning in April 2016, officials said.

“This arrest stems from the dedication of our cold-case investigation team in cooperation with our law-enforcement partners. Thanks to their hard work, we are now able to take the next step in securing justice for the tragic loss of two lives,” said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. 

National data shows that people with disabilities are more likely to be victims of violent crime than people without disabilities, including at the hands of their caregivers. Roughly once a week, a family member or caregiver kills a person with a disability in North America, according to the Ruderman Family Foundation, which advocates for people with disabilities.

Though the three years of investigations were frustrating, Paula Charlebois said she was immensely thankful detectives continued to follow the case.

“If even for a day (Reyes) has had to sit in jail and think about my daughter and that baby, it’ll be a good day,” Paula said. “Maybe he’s going to be held accountable. It’s hard to know he’s living and loving life and they don’t get to do that.”


Read or Share this story: