Police arrested a California couple for allegedly torturing their 1-year-old son to death with a tiny blowtorch.

Throughout his brief existence, the toddler is reported to have been subjected to ongoing abuse.

Authorities said a tiny blowtorch, often known as a torch lighter and commonly used in kitchens, was one of the tools used to abuse him.

Following a tip from hospital employees, police in Barstow detained the couple on April 25.

"On Monday, April 25, 2022, at approximately 7:55PM, officers of the Pomona Police Department responded to the Pomona Valley Hospital to investigate a suspicious death of a one-year-old male child," a police statement read.

"The child arrived at the hospital unresponsive and was pronounced deceased by medical personnel upon arrival," officials added.

Lesions, bruises, and burn marks were seen on the victim's body, according to the cops.

According to the police, the torture had been going on for quite some time.

They went on to say that several of the injuries looked to be in various states of healing.

Further investigation by Pomona Police investigators discovered that the abuse took place in the child's house in Barstow, California, where he lived with his parents.

The boy died of his injuries in Barstow before his parents drove him to Pomona, California.

Following that, the Pomona Police Department informed the Barstow Police Department of the progress of their investigation.

The investigation was handled by homicide detectives and crime scene investigators from the Barstow Police Department.

Pomona Valley Hospital and the child's house in the 700 Block of East Virginia Way in Barstow were both visited by detectives and crime scene investigators.

Detectives Mathew Helms and Monty Franklin were dispatched to Pomona, where they spoke with witnesses and contacted the victim's parents, Ricardo Mendez, 27, of Barstow, and Antanita Miller, 24, of Barstow.

During the inquiry, investigators discovered that Ricardo Mendez and Antanita Miller came unexpectedly at Mendez's family's home in Pomona on April 25, 2022, at approximately 7:00 PM.

The victim's lifeless body was discovered in the back of Ricardo Mendez and Antanita Miller's vehicle by family members.

Mendez's family members drove the victim to Pomona Valley Hospital for treatment right away.

Ricardo Mendez and Antanita Miller remained at home and did not go to the hospital at first.

"Antanita Miller was eventually taken to the hospital, where she was held by officers. Ricardo Mendez fled the family home and was apprehended by Pomona Police Officers in the 2100 block of Spencer Street.

Detectives from the Barstow Police Department filed search warrants on Ricardo Mendez and Antanita Miller's home and vehicle.

The police discovered items of evidence suspected to have been utilized during the assault on the victim while serving the search warrants.

One of the items found was a torch lighter, which was thought to have been used to burn the toddler.

According to the cops: "Ricardo Mendez was booked at the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga for Penal Code 187(a) - Murder and Penal Code 3056 - Parole Violation. Antanita Miller was booked at the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga for Penal Code 187(a) - Murder."

Records obtained by the Daily Press show that Mendez has a long criminal past, including two felony convictions.

He was charged with attempted murder, criminal threats, and corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant in 2020.

Jamari's aunt Leslie Mendez started a GoFundMe account to raise money for Jamari's funeral. So far, it has raised at least $6,000.

Screen Shot 2022-05-04 at 9
Jamari Mendez GoFundMe

© 2024 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.