Oceanside Mother Admits to Drowning Toddler: PD

Veronica Rivas, 28, is accused of murder in the death of her 22-month-old boy on Wednesday night

Police say the mother of a toddler found dead in an Oceanside home has admitted to drowning her child after suffering depression over a custody battle.

Detectives arrested Veronica Rivas, 28, on Friday in the death of her 22-month-old son Elijah. She was booked into the Vista Detention Center on a first-degree murder charge. 

Officers were called to Rivas' condo on Woodpark Way Wednesday night when the child's grandmother called 911.

When Oceanside Police arrived, they started CPR on Elijah until paramedics could arrive. However, they were unable to save him, and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Rivas was discovered unconscious in a room downstairs and was rushed to Tri City Medical Center. Police say she was treated for a medical emergency but could not say whether it was an attempted suicide, as neighbors have speculated.

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The person who provided this photo asked that we obscure the background so the room is not recognizable.

Detectives arrested Rivas at the hospital on Friday and transferred her to the Oceanside Police Department.

Investigators say during questioning, Rivas confessed to drowning her son.

A nanny for Elijah told NBC 7 Rivas has been in a custody battle with the boy's father, a Marine, for the past two months.

She often saw Rivas crying, upset and deeply depressed over the estranged relationship.

The caretaker said she visited Rivas in the hospital Friday, talking with her for less than a minute.

The only thing the suspect said was, "My baby is gone," according to the nanny.

The investigation is ongoing, and police are still trying to determine if more charges will be leveled against her.

Rivas is scheduled to be arraigned on Monday.

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