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Man accused of murdering girlfriend's son

February 17, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
A 19-year-old man in Lucerne Valley is in police custody, accused of murdering his girlfriend's 2-year-old son.

San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies responded to call about an unresponsive child at a house on the 9200 block of Anza Trail just after 10 p.m. Thursday. Inside the home, firefighters and paramedics tried to revive a 2-year-old boy who wasn't breathing.

"It's my understanding that the child was assaulted, suffered from some serious injuries. However, as far as the investigation is concerned, we won't be releasing any more specifics than that," said Jodi Miller of the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.

The toddler, identified as Damian Negrete, was airlifted to Loma Linda University Medical Center. He died at 1:25 a.m. Friday.

Investigators have identified 19-year-old Ceasar Vasquez as their suspect. According to deputies, Vasquez was found hiding in the desert not far from the home he shared with the child's mother.

"When they approached Ceasar, he was suffering from what appeared to be self-inflicted wounds to his neck," Miller said.

Vasquez was treated for his injuries, and then arrested on suspicion of murder. He is being held without bail at the West Valley Detention Center.

It was unclear where the mother was at the time of the incident.