Cliff and Debra Gilmore say they didn’t have any ties to New Mexico when the married couple uprooted from their lives in Vancouver, Washington, to move to Santa Fe, where they landed jobs with the state Children, Youth and Families Department in late 2020. But the Gilmores’ stints at the agency didn’t last long. They were both fired on May 6 in what they allege in a lawsuit was an act of retaliation for raising ethical concerns.
The brutal abuse of a New Mexico toddler, allegedly by her parents, has pitted the state’s child protective services against the girl’s former foster mother, who sought help online after the child and her siblings went missing. The little girl, whose name is being withheld by this magazine, was abandoned at a North Carolina hospital with a fractured skull in October 2020—six months after she and her siblings disappeared following a trial home visit with their biological parents.