Lexington fetal homicide suspect appears in court

Posted at 7:17 PM, Jan 23, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-23 19:18:30-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Lexington had several domestic violence-related cases over the past few days. Today, two of those cases are at the Fayette County Courthouse.

Rigoberto Vasquez-Barradas was arraigned earlier today. The arrest citation describes a verbal altercation between Vasquez-Barradas and the 18-weeks-pregnant victim.

Police arrested the 24-year-old on Friday on Devonport Drive. The arrest citation says the victim was struck repeatedly, and intentionally strangled.

Medical staff says the fetus was lost as a result of the trauma.

Lieutenant Nathaniel Muller with Lexington Police Department’s Special Victims section says, "One of the things that's really captured the attention of the police department, the city in general, and a lot of our community partners is not necessarily that the number of cases is going up, but certainly the intensity of cases seems to be pretty shocking."

In 2022, the Lexington Police Department reported 13 domestic violence-related homicides. Lieutenant Muller says interpersonal violence is something that develops over time.

"It can start with a little control over finances, control over time, control over relationships is often kind of defined by isolation for the victims or the survivors of that,” says Lieutenant Muller.

The police department, city and community partners say they are all working together to bring attention to the issue — and something everyone in the community can look for.

Lieutenant Muller explains, "We have to be partnered with the rest of the community in getting awareness out there so that hopefully we can intervene and we can provide support and assistance for people who really need it before it becomes a worse incident."

Lexington's community has taken several steps to provide safe spaces for survivors.

Rigoberto Vasquez-Barradas is expected to be back in court this Friday.