Md. Parents Charged With Murder in Death of 2-Year-Old Son

Parents in Wheaton, Maryland, have been charged with child abuse and murder after their 2-year-old son died earlier this year of trauma and dehydration.

Jonathan Navarrete-Turcious, 30, and Blanca Rosa Reyes, 24, were arrested Thursday on charges that they caused the death of their youngest child in February. 

Reyes told police she found her son limp and moaning in his crib about 2:40 a.m. Feb. 13. She took him to Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring, Maryland, about 4:15 a.m., police said. The little boy was pronounced dead 40 minutes later. 

Reyes and Navarrete-Turcious told police their son had fallen several times at home in the weeks prior to his death, including a fall from a kitchen table that knocked out his front teeth. Neither parent noticed that the boy was missing his teeth until the next evening.

Two to three days before his death, the boy's parents said he fell from an office chair in the living room, resulting in a lump on the back of his head. Medical care was not sought after either incident. 

Reyes also said she had hit the boy in the mouth four or five days prior to his death, because he wasn't eating and was biting down on the utensil, according to a charging document.

Reyes allegedly told police that on the morning of Feb. 12, the little boy fell while standing and hit his head, after which he couldn't support his own weight or hold up his head. Reyes described his head as "floppy" and that he was acting "spaced out," and began acting more lethargic and vomiting as the day went on, according to the charging document. Early the next morning, she brought him to the hospital, where he died shortly after.

The boy's death was ruled a homicide due to oral trauma, dehydration and pneumonia, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner ruled June 11. The medical examiner said the child's lack of medical care to address an injury and the severity of his dehydration were evidence of neglect.

Navarrete-Turcious and Reyes were arrested Thursday and charged with second-degree murder, first-degree child abuse, first-degree severe physical injury and neglect of a minor. Reyes is being held on $800,000 bond. Navarrete-Turcious' bond is $750,000.

The parents' three other young boys, ages 3, 4 and 5 at the time of the incident, were placed in custody of Montgomery County Child Protective Services.

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