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Couple charged with toddler's murder

May 12, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Two days after a Corona woman reported her 2-year-old son missing, she and her boyfriend have been charged in the boy's murder. Belinda Magana, 23, and Naresh Narine, 37, are being held without bail at the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside.

Magana reported her 2-year-old son missing Sunday evening. She told police he had vanished during a Mother's Day outing at Lincoln Park in Corona. Police searched the neighborhood for several hours but found no sign of the boy. Eventually they began to question the couple's story.

"Usually, when you have a two-and-a-half-year-old that just wanders away and you weren't keeping an eye on them, that's not normal for a parent," said Lt. Mark Johnson, Corona Police Department. "Things from the beginning just didn't seem to add up, the whole big picture."

The investigation then led police to a remote location in Lytle Creek, about 30 miles from Corona. There they found the body of a child buried in a shallow grave. The body has not yet been positively identified, but police believe it to be that of Magana's son.

On Monday, police searched the Corona home where Magana and Narine live. Investigators believe the boy died there on Saturday, and that the death was not accidental.

Neighbors told Eyewitness News they were stunned. "They're nice people, you know?" said neighbor Jennifer Lopez, "I mean, she seems to be a nice person. I don't know what happened, I don't know what the situation is. It's just sad that that happened to the little boy, I mean, he's two years old, he's innocent."

Magana has been charged with child abuse and accessory to murder. Narine has been charged with murder, torture and child abuse. A 4-year-old son of Magana's has been taken into protective custody.

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