A couple was arrested on suspicion of abusing and killing their one-year-old son in Barstow, after which he drove his dead body to Pomona.
Barstow’s Ricardo Mendes, 27, and Antanita Miller, 24, stayed at the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga on Tuesday, according to San Bernardino County Sheriff officials.
The couple have been detained without bail and will appear in the Victorville Superior Court on Thursday. Mendes was also booked for parole violations, as shown in the booking record.
The Barstow Police Department reported that around 11:00 pm on Monday, the Pomona Police Station notified them of the suspicious death that occurred in Barstow.
Earlier that night, Pomona police responded to Pomona Valley Hospital and investigated the suspicious death of a one-year-old boy. The boy arrived unresponsive and was declared dead by medical personnel upon arrival.
Pomona Detectives observed that the child had been injured consistent with continued abuse. They also observed visible signs of trauma to the boy’s body, including lesions, bruises, and burn marks. Some of the injuries appeared to be at different stages of the healing process.
Detectives in Pomona also revealed that abuse may have occurred in the home of a child who lived with his parents in Barstow.
The detective also said the boy died of those injuries in Barstow before his parents took him to Pomona.
After Pomona police notified the BPD of the status of the investigation, Barstow police assigned murder and crime scene investigators. They accommodated a children’s home and Pomona Valley Hospital in Barstow’s East Virginia Way 700 block.
Barstow detectives Matthew Helms and Monty Franklin responded to Pomona, where they interviewed witnesses and contacted the victim’s parents, Mendes and Miller.
Detectives learned that they had unexpectedly arrived at Mendes’ family home in Pomona, nearly 90 miles from Barstow, around 7 pm on Monday.
The family found a child’s lifeless body behind the couple’s car.
While Mendes and Miller were staying at their parents’ home, some of Mendes’ families immediately drove the boy’s body to PVH for treatment.
After a while, Miller arrived at the hospital, where police officers detained her. Mendes left her family home, she was found by Pomona police in 2100 blocks on Spencer Street, and she was detained.
Barstow police detectives issued an investigation warrant in the couple’s residence and vehicle, where they found an item of evidence that was believed to have been used during the assault on the child.
Anyone with information about this investigation will be asked by the Barstow Police to contact Detective Matthew Helms (760-255-5132 or [email protected]).
If you wish to remain anonymous, you can also call the WE-TIP hotline (1-800-79-CRIME (27469)) or visit wetip.com to provide information.
This story is evolving and will be updated as more information becomes available.
Daily press reporter Rene Ray De La Cruz can be contacted at 760-951-6227 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @DP_ReneDeLaCruz
This article was originally published in Victorville Daily Press. Barstow couple arrested on suspicion of murdering 1-year-old son