Texas Mother of 4-Year-Old Arrested, Admits She Dumped Body - NBC Bay Area
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

Texas Mother of 4-Year-Old Arrested, Admits She Dumped Body

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Texas Mother of 4-Year-Old Arrested, Admits She Dumped Body
    Rebecca Rivera (left) has been arrested and charged them with tampering with evidence after the body of 4-year-old Jayden Alexander Lopez (right) was found on a Galveston beach.

    The mother of a 4-year-old boy whose naked body was found on a South Texas beach last year admitted to authorities that she beat him and denied him medical care after he suffered a head injury from running into a wall, then drove to Galveston in the middle of the night and dumped the body in the water, according to court documents.

    Galveston police identified the child as Jayden Alexander Lopez. Authorities had named him "Little Jacob" after no one came forward to report him missing.

    Galveston police chief Vernon Hale announced Wednesday that the child's mother, Rebecca Rivera, and her girlfriend Dania Amezquita-Gomez, had been arrested and charged with fabricating or tampering with physical evidence.

    An affidavit says Rivera, in an interview on Tuesday, told authorities she woke up in the middle of the night after her son had died, carried his body to her vehicle and drove to Galveston with her other young child and Amezquita-Gomez.

    Body-Cam Footage Shows Baby Rescued From Plastic Bag

    [NATL] Baby Rescued From Plastic Bag in Georgia, Body-Cam Footage Shows

    Georgia sheriff's office released dramatic body-cam video showing the rescue of a newborn girl who was found alive inside a plastic bag in the woods.

    (Published Wednesday, June 26, 2019)

    According to an affidavit, she said she put her dead son into the water because he went to the beach previously and he liked the water.

    Last month, in an interview with authorities, Amezquita-Gomez acknowledged being in the vehicle but did not give any other details about where they went or about the dead child being in the vehicle, according to the affidavit. She reported being too drunk to remember the details.

    Rivera admitted that she abused the boy, saying "she was stressed out and took this out on Jayden by striking him with `whatever I could find,"' according to the court documents.

    Rivera told authorities that about two weeks before the boy's death, he had bumped into a wall, causing a head injury. Rivera told police she used alcohol to clean the injury but she and her girlfriend began to argue, causing the alcohol to spill onto the child's face.

    According to the court documents, she said her child's face started to swell, and over the next two weeks his health "deteriorated." He reportedly complained of stomach aches and became visibly more lethargic, the mother told police.

    Rivera also told police her girlfriend blamed the child for problems in the couple's relationship, the affidavit says.

    Jail records did not list attorneys for either woman.

    Bryan Gaines, a supervisory senior resident agent with the FBI, called the crime "appalling" at a press conference Wednesday announcing the arrests.

    "No one reported Jayden as missing. No one was looking for Jayden. Jayden had no advocate other than us," he said. "Someone took a beautiful, innocent child and discarded him in the ocean as if he was a piece of trash."

    Mom Kills Son While Playing Chicken

    [NATL] Mom Kills Son While Playing Chicken
    A Texas mother is accused of killing her 3-year old son after running him over with an SUV during a game of "chicken".
    (Published Tuesday, June 25, 2019)

    Investigators made the unusual move of releasing a photo of the face of the dead boy earlier this year, hoping it would generate new leads about his identity. Authorities had previously released a sketch of the child with a phone number to call with tips. Police on Wednesday said tips led to a possible name for the boy and a DNA comparison led to the positive identification.

    Lois Gibson, the forensic artist who created the sketch, said she was at home when she heard news of a break in the case.

    "I cried, I cried with relief," said Gibson, who works as forensic artist at the Houston Police Department.

    US Attorney Lays Out Next Steps After Billion-Dollar Cocaine Bust

    [NATL] US Attorney Lays Out Next Steps After Billion-Dollar Cocaine Bust

    Bill McSwain, United States Attorney for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, addressed the media Friday following a billion-dollar cocaine seizure at the Philadelphia seaport.

    (Published Friday, June 21, 2019)