A couple was arrested on suspicion of abusing and killing their 1-year-old son in Barstow then driving his lifeless body to Pomona.
Ricardo Mendez, 27, and Antanita Miller, 24, both of Barstow, remained at the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga on Tuesday, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s officials reported.
The couple are being held without bail and are scheduled to appear on Thursday in Victorville Superior Court. Mendez was also booked for a parole violation, booking records show.
The Barstow Police Department reported that at approximately 11 p.m. on Monday, the Pomona Police Department notified them of a suspicious death that occurred in Barstow.
Earlier that evening, Pomona Police responded to the Pomona Valley Hospital to investigate a suspicious death of a 1-year-old boy, who arrived unresponsive and was pronounced dead by medical personnel upon arrival.
Pomona Detectives observed that the child had sustained injuries consistent with ongoing abuse. They also observed visible signs of trauma to the boy’s body such as lesions, bruising, and burn marks. Some of the injuries appeared to be in different stages of the healing process.
Pomona detectives also revealed that the abuse likely occurred in the child’s home where he lived with his parents in Barstow.
Detectives also stated that the boy died of those injuries in Barstow before his parents drove him to Pomona.
After Pomona Police notified the BPD of the status of their investigation, Barstow Police assigned homicide detectives and crime scene investigators, who responded to the child’s home in the 700 Block of East Virginia Way in Barstow and to Pomona Valley Hospital.
The couple’s home is located just south of Barstow Community Hospital and near the Department of Motor Vehicles office.
Barstow detectives Mathew Helms and Monty Franklin responded to Pomona where they interviewed witnesses and contacted the victim’s parents, Mendez and Miller.
Detectives learned that at approximately 7 p.m. on Monday, Mendez and Miller arrived unexpectedly at Mendez’s family’s home in Pomona, nearly 90 miles away from Barstow.
Family members found the child’s lifeless body in the back of the couple’s vehicle.
Some of Mendez’s family members immediately drove the boy’s body to the PVH for treatment while Mendez and Miller stayed at the family home.
Sometime later, Miller arrived at the hospital where officers detained her. Mendez left the family home and was found and detained in the 2100 block of Spencer Street by Pomona Police.
Barstow Police Detectives served search warrants at the couple’s residence and vehicle, where they located items of evidence believed to have been used during the assault on the child.
The couple had four children under their care, including two that are with Child Protective Services and found with no injuries. Another child was already under the care of a family member, Barstow Police Chief Andrew Espinoza told the Daily Press.
Espinoza said the burns on the child were not small. He also added that the child “had injuries all over his body, not just one area.”
Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked by Barstow Police to contact Detective Matthew Helms at 760-255-5132 or at email@example.com.
Those wishing to remain anonymous may also provide information by calling the WE-TIP hotline at 1-800-79-CRIME (27469) or by going to wetip.com.
This story is developing and will be updated as more information becomes available.
Daily Press reporter Rene Ray De La Cruz may be reached at 760-951-6227 or RDeLaCruz@VVDailyPress.com. Follow him on Twitter @DP_ReneDeLaCruz
This article originally appeared on Victorville Daily Press: Barstow couple arrested on suspicion of killing their 1-year old son