Parents Blame “Taotaomo’na” for Baby’s Injuries


Alan James Toves and Charlene Annette Borja are being held on $5,000 cash bail each.

Guam – The parents of a 9-month-old baby found with bruising, burns and bite marks say most of the injuries were caused by the taotaomo’na, or Chamorro ancestral spirits.


Alan James Toves, 34, and Charlene Annette Borja, 34, are behind bars on charges of felony child abuse and family violence. The magistrate’s complaint says the baby was found with bruising and bite marks all over the body and even contusions on the face.

The mother was interviewed and Borja told police that some of the blistering was from a diaper rash and the bite marks were from the baby’s older sister. But when asked about the bruising, police say Borja blamed the taotaomo’na.

The father, according to police, also claimed the taotaomo’na were responsible for the bruising, but then admitted that he occasionally nibbled on his son’s cheeks when he becomes magodai, or the Chamorro word to describe an irresistible feeling when you see adorable children. The parents appeared in court today and were handed down $5,000 cash bail each.

Several other witnesses were interviewed who told police that they had seen Toves bite the baby in the ear to the point of bleeding. Police say the parents never sought medical attention for their son.

In fact, police say when the mother was interviewed, she told them, “I love my son but I do not want him.”