Baby boy dies after being found unresponsive in OC; mother's boyfriend arrested for abuse

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A 1-year-old boy has died one day after he was found unresponsive at a Santa Ana motel due to suspected child abuse, authorities said. (Santa Ana Police Department)

A 1-year-old boy died one day after he was found unresponsive at a Santa Ana motel due to suspected child abuse, authorities said. His mother's 25-year-old boyfriend was arrested in the case.

Officers responded shortly before 8 a.m. to a report of a baby not breathing at the Royal Roman Motel in the 1500 block of First Street, according to the Santa Ana Police Department. The infant was found unresponsive in the shower and CPR was administered.

Witnesses said they heard a man freaking out and running around the motel. That's when one of the guests called 911.

Paramedics were summoned to the scene and the child was rushed to Orange County Global Medical Center in nearby Tustin and taken to Children's Hospital Orange County, where he was placed on life-support and listed in critical condition.

On Tuesday afternoon, police announced the baby died.

"The initial investigation and evidence revealed possible child neglect and/or abuse," police said in a statement, adding that homicide detectives were assigned to the case.

After the baby's mother and her boyfriend, Eduardo Centeno, were questioned by investigators, Centeno was arrested Monday and booked on suspicion of child abuse, the news release said. The suspect has two outstanding warrants for narcotics violations, according to police.

Authorities later said the case has become a murder investigation.

"What happened between the time the mother left and when we arrived on scene? What actually occurred? There are injuries to the victim in this case that lead us to believe that he is a victim of this homicide. Now it's piecing it all together," Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said.

The boy's mother was released from custody pending an ongoing investigation.

Centeno's bail is set at $210,000. He is due in court Wednesday.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Homicide Detective Eddie Nunez of the Santa Ana Police Department at (714) 245-8390.
Related Topics:
child abusearrestchild endangermentabusehomicide investigationchild killedSanta AnaOrange County
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