Police charged a Wheaton couple with murder on Aug. 13 in the February death of their 2-year-old son.
Jonathan Navarrete-Turcious, 30, and Blanca Reyes, 24, both of the 11800 block of Charles Road, have been charged with second-degree murder, neglect of a minor and two counts of child abuse, according to a Montgomery County police news release.
On June 11, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner ruled the child’s death a homicide, the release stated. The medical examiner said the cause of death was dehydration, trauma to his mouth and pneumonia.
The examiner said the mouth injuries included tooth loss with fragments of two teeth still in his mouth and two others that were loose, according to the charging documents.
The release stated the examiner cited neglect due to prolonged lack of medical care and severe dehydration.
On Feb. 13, police said they responded to Holy Cross Hospital to investigate the child’s death. Reyes allegedly told police she found her son moaning and unable to support himself in his crib, according to the release. Police said they found out that the child suffered multiple injuries leading up to his death.
The morning before the child’s death, Reyes allegedly told police he fell, hit his head and was unable to support himself and keep his head up. Reyes described his head as “floppy,” and he was acting “spaced-out,” documents state. Both parents allege they tried to feed the child, but he kept throwing up, documents state. Reyes allegedly told police the child would roll over onto his face in his crib and she was worried he would be suffocated, so she propped him up. Police said Reyes thought she saw the child’s eyes roll back into his head.
Around 2:40 a.m. on Feb. 13, Reyes allegedly took him out of his crib and noticed he was acting “space- out” again and that he couldn’t support himself when she put him on the bed. Reyes woke up Navarrete-Turcious and took the child to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Police said that when they interviewed Reyes, she told them she wanted to take her son to the hospital on Feb. 7 because he wasn’t doing so well but decided not to. She said she was “being neglectful” because she was used to her mother helping her out when they lived in California, documents state.
When Navarrete-Turcious was interviewed, he allegedly told police he wasn’t home when his son had fallen but that Reyes told him, according to documents. Navarrete-Turcious allegedly told police he didn’t take him to the hospital because he looked fine. Navarrete-Turcious said the child was born with the lump on the back of his head, documents state.
Police said the parents took their child to the hospital because he was weak from days of sleeplessness.
According to police, Reyes said the child had fallen off an office chair in the living room and that it caused the lump on the back of his head. Reyes compared the lump to the size of an egg and said it oozed blood and liquid, documents state.
Reyes allegedly told police she hit him four to five days before his death because he wasn’t eating.
Navarrete-Turcious and Reyes told police the child fell from a kitchen table three weeks before his death, losing his teeth, documents state. Reyes allegedly left him sitting on the edge of the table to check on her other children and returned to find him on the floor. He was bleeding from his nose and mouth, causing Reyes to believe he bit his lip, according to documents.
The documents state that neither parent took him to the doctor for his injuries.
Police said Child Protective Services removed three other children from the residence.