Dead Baby Found Near Salinas, Man Arrested By LAPD

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    NEWSLETTERS

    This is a family photo of little Angelle Negron

     
    The grandmother of a 10-month-old girl found dead Tuesday said her  daughter's boyfriend took the baby with him on Feb. 2 to watch the Super Bowl at his Castroville home but never bought her back before he was arrested on  suspicion of the baby's murder.

    Pompey Morales said Jesus "Jessie" Espinoza and his daughter Linda  Espinoza kept her granddaughter for nearly two weeks and "kept making  excuses, they were going to Disneyland, this and that."

    The Espinozas stayed in contact with Morales by text message, saying they were at Disneyland and "don't worry, that they were having fun."

    "He was supposed to be back (this) Sunday, but he didn't show up,"  Morales said. "On Saturday night, she (Linda) confessed they never went  nowhere."

    Morales said she and her Castroville family were devastated to  learn today about the death of Angelle Jenisis Negron, the 10-month-old  daughter of Morales' daughter Susan, who is in a rehab facility for substance  abuse.
       
    The girl's body was located at 9 a.m. Tuesday hidden under some  brush off of Market Street near Davis Road just outside of the Salinas city limits, according to Monterey County sheriff's Sgt. Terry Kaiser.

    The body was found three days after the girl's family reported her  missing, Sheriff Scott Miller said at a news conference in Salinas today.

    Jesus Espinoza, 47, was arrested at 5:30 p.m. Monday by Los  Angeles police, aided by FBI agents from Los Angeles and Watsonville, in the  area of Maple and Seventh Streets in Los Angeles and transported to the  Monterey County Jail in Salinas, Kaiser said.

    He was booked into the jail at 12:35 p.m. today on suspicion of  murder, child endangerment and child stealing in Angelle's disappearance,  according to a jail employee.

    An autopsy on the girl's body will be performed Wednesday, Kaiser  said.

    "We had to ID (the baby's body)," Morales said. "We never thought  this would happen to our grandchild. We have to stay strong."

    Morales said the family is waiting for the autopsy to learn the  cause of the girl's death and when she died, but "it had to be recently, she  wasn't decomposed. She was fresh faced. It had to be within a couple of  days."

    Linda Espinoza had promised she and her father would have Angelle  back by Sunday at 8 a.m., Morales said.

    But on Saturday, after confessing they never went to Disneyland,  Linda filed a report with sheriff's deputies that her father had abused the  girl, Morales said.

    Linda sent a text with a blown-up picture allegedly showing  Angelle with a black eye, Morales said.

    "She confessed and said that she wasn't going to cover up anymore  for her dad's lies," Morales said. "We didn't know where Angelle was at."

    The family put up fliers about the missing girl around Castroville  and people told her that Jesus "was a good person" and wouldn't harm her,  Morales said.

    Then a relative posted on Facebook that she had seen Jesus at a  Greyhound bus stop in Salinas by himself just after midnight Sunday with two  duffle bags, she said.

    Espinoza, who had been dating Susan Morales for less than six  months, often asked to take Angelle out of the house for brief outings and  the family trusted him, Morales said.

    "When he came here, he would be nice," she said. "He bonded with  the baby. We didn't think it was anything out of the ordinary, until he  didn't bring her back."

    "I just want him to be punished," the grandmother said. "She did  not deserve that kind of death. I just want justice for my granddaughter."   
            
    After his arrest, Espinoza described for authorities a general  location where the girl's body might be found that led to its discovery,  Miller said.

    Deputies made a statewide announcement to authorities on Sunday to  be on the lookout for the girl but the department did not issue an Amber  Alert to the public, Miller said.

    During the search on Sunday, deputies learned that Espinoza might  have been en route to Mexico, Miller said.