A mum and her boyfriend have been arrested for beating the former’s two-year-old son to death and trying to pass it off as a tragic accident.
The incident took place in the residence the three shared in the town of Villa Nueva in the Argentinian province of Cordoba on Tuesday, 21st December.
The couple took the boy, named Emiliano Messa, to the Hospital Pasteur de Villa Maria, claiming he had suffered an accident at home.
The young boy was suffering seizures, and doctors found he had a brain injury. He was intubated, due to the seriousness of his condition.
He was then transferred to the ICU of the Hospital de Ninos (Children’s Hospital) de la Santisima Trinidad in the provincial capital, Cordoba.
At the same time, an indirect relative of the boy filed a complaint with the authorities over the incident, alleging mistreatment, and an investigation was launched.
It was found that the couple’s version of events was “implausible”, and it was deemed the boy had suffered a head injury and retinal haemorrhages consistent with child abuse.
The youngster eventually suffered brain death and succumbed on Thursday, 23rd December.
The mum, 28-year-old Ana Yael Piedra, and stepdad, 26-year-old Jonathan Martinez, were then arrested for ‘serious injury’.
The two face a more serious charge of aggravated murder pending the results of the post-mortem.
The mum’s relatives have since denied her involvement in the incident and have tried to pin the blame solely on the stepdad, claiming the mum was working when the incident took place.
The investigation into the pair is ongoing, and cops reportedly interviewed the victim’s biological father, Jose, yesterday (Monday, 27th December).
The dead boy’s aunt Natalia took to social media to write: “I got the news that no one wants to hear. Hearing a brother tell you his son was killed is the worst thing I’ve ever heard in my life.
“Emi, you’ve left our soul destroyed and a family broken. Fly high…”
The accused have been remanded in custody.