Omaree Varela’s parents – All about their troubles with the law

Omaree Varela

Omaree Varela was only 9 years old when he lost his life at the hands of his mother in 2013. The murder took place just two days after Christmas in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It was the final straw in a string of violent abuses inflicted on him over the years by his mother and stepfather. During the investigation, a disturbing detail surfaced.

It was the fact that Omaree had called 911 for help six months before his death. The dispatchers had heard his stepfather scream and hurl abuses at him but it went nowhere as the police failed to follow up properly. The preventable nature of the case prompted the state’s Children Youth and Families Department to come forth with substantial reforms to further enhance children’s safety.

Omaree Varela’s mother Synthia Varela-Casaus gave birth to him while she was in prison on drug charges

Synthia Varela-Casaus | Photo by @rosalesquique/Twitter

Omaree Varela – who was living with his mother, stepfather, and two younger siblings in Northeast Albuquerque – was beaten to death by Synthia Varela-Casaus, his very own mother. He died of blunt force trauma after sustaining multiple injuries all over his body and losing 20 percent of his blood due to internal bleeding.

While the crime was happening, Synthia’s husband (and Omaree’s stepfather) Stephen Casaus was abusing heroin in the bathroom. He then failed to seek medical attention for his unconscious stepson and waited hours to alert the authorities.

Synthia Varela had a troubled life since she was a ‘rebellious’ teenager and committed minor offenses. Since her father and stepmother both worked for the Army Corps of Engineers, they moved places frequently. When she was 15 years old, she ran away from home and her offenses against the law got progressively serious.

Over the years, she was arrested numerous times for charges that ranged from shoplifting to drug possession, distribution, and trafficking. She was also convicted of disorderly conduct, aiding illegal activity, failure to appear in court, contempt of court, and failure to comply with probation.

At 18 years of age, Synthia entered into a physically abusive relationship with a drug dealer and gave birth to her first son. Her boyfriend was later arrested in a drug raid and she gave up her child to be fostered by her father and stepmother until they formally adopted him.

In 2004, Synthia gave birth to Omaree while being incarcerated at the Grants County Women’s Prison on drug charges. He was eventually diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and mild developmental delays.

Omaree’s estranged biological father Christopher Clewis lives in Dallas, Texas

Christopher Clewis
Christopher Clewis | KOAT-TV

Omaree’s estranged biological father, Christopher “C-Boy” Clewis, learned about his son’s death from the news. He was on probation for an old assault charge at the time and lived in Dallas, Texas. Upon hearing the unfortunate news, he got permission from his probation officer and made plans to travel to Albuquerque.

“I hope Synthia gets put to death. She didn’t give my son a chance to live and hearing what she had done to him, the physical and mental abuse, I don’t even want to think about the kind of person Omaree would have turned out to be because of her,” he said.

Christopher, who is disabled and wheelchair-bound, has been separated from Synthia for a long time. They met in 2002 in Albuquerque when they were both drug users with no stable jobs. Moreover, when Omaree was born, he was serving time for ‘kidnapping a hockey player’ who owed him money.

After being released, he made the decision to move to Dallas and start afresh with Synthia and their son. However, Synthia was addicted to drugs and refused his request to move. She further barred him from contacting Omaree and they completely lost touch by 2007.

“I just figured she didn’t want me to be involved with him. I didn’t know the reason, but I respected her wishes and now I wish I had never done that,” said Christopher.

In 2016, Synthia Varela-Casaus was sentenced to 40 years in prison for the second-degree murder of Omaree Varela. Her husband Stephen Casaus initially received 30 years but the Court of Appeals overturned one of his convictions and his sentence was reduced to 10 years.

The couple’s two younger children have been adopted by Synthia’s older sister Sylvia Marquez and her husband David.