By: Kara Duffy
June 25, 2013
Colquitt County, GA - Investigators with the Colquitt County Sheriff's Office say 41-year-old Ruben Fernando Lopez was arrested after he admitted to fathering eight children with one of his relatives.
Investigators say medical officials first contacted the Department of Children and Families after they noticed a repeated pattern of birth complications and defects associated with this particular mother and her newborns. They say, the most recent occurred earlier this month, when she gave birth to a child prematurely, who died just a few days later.
"The investigation revealed there had been three children that have died from birth complications and birth deformities and of the surviving children, there's apparent developmental problems," said Lt. Shawn Bostick, with the Colquitt County Sheriff's Office.
Investigators say for now, the children will remain with their mother, who they say is in her early 20's.
"The oldest child is six years old, so it appears that this has been happening over the last six years," Lt. Bostick said.
Lopez has been charged with three counts of incest, but investigators say, he could face more charges in several other cities.
"We're actually running into some issues with venue," Lt. Bostick said. "Not all of them occurred in Colquitt County. It appears that some of the children were born in Alabama and other parts of Georgia."
Lt. Bostick said they have been in touch with authorities in those areas and that they are working together on the investigation.
Investigators say at this time the children's mother has not been charged with anything, but the investigation is ongoing.
A Judge denied Lopez bond.