Barstow parents accused of molesting and killing 1-year-old son

A Barstow mother and father were arrested this week on suspicion of killing their young son, authorities said.

Barstow officers were notified by Pomona Police Department at 11 p.m. Monday of a suspicious death, the Barstow Police Department said Tuesday night.

Pomona officers were called to Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center around 7:55 p.m. Monday after the little boy became unresponsive and was pronounced dead, Barstow Police said.

Detectives saw the boy suffered “injuries related to ongoing abuse,” including lesions, bruises and burn marks on his body, police said.

“Some of the injuries appeared to be in different stages of healing,” police said.

After further investigation, detectives concluded the abuse likely took place at the child’s home and that he died of his injuries in Barstow before his parents drove him to Pomona, police said.

Officers were dispatched to the hospital and the baby’s home on the 700 block of East Virginia Way in Barstow, police said.

Two Barstow detectives arrived at the hospital, interviewed witnesses and contacted the baby’s parents: Ricardo Mendez, 27, and Antanita Miller, 24, police said.

Detectives learned that Mendez and Miller unexpectedly arrived at the Mendez family’s home in Pomona around 7 p.m. Monday, police said.

“Family members found the victim’s lifeless body in his back [the parents’] vehicle,” police said. “Some of Mendez’s family members immediately drove the victim to Pomona Valley Hospital for treatment.”

Mendez and Miller stayed at the home, but eventually Miller went to the hospital, where she was locked up, police said. Mendez also left the home and was arrested by Pomona officers at the 2100 block of Spencer Street.

Barstow authorities issued search warrants at the couple’s home and their vehicle, police said.

“During the service of the search warrants, investigators found evidence believed to have been used during the attack on the victim,” police said.

Mendez was arrested Tuesday afternoon at the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga on suspicion of murder and violating probation, prison records show.

Miller was booked into the same prison on suspicion of murder, police said.

The baby’s name was not released Tuesday night.

A representative from Barstow Police was unavailable for follow-up questions. It was not known on Tuesday whether the parents were reported to the youth welfare office.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact Barstow Police Det. Matthew Helms at (760) 255-5132 or at [email protected]

Anonymous tips can be sent to the WE-TIP hotline at 1-800-792-7469 or at www.wetip.com.

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