When an unidentified boy’s body washed up on a Texas beach in October 2017, Galveston police gave him the name “Little Jacob.”
It took months of investigation and hundreds of tips before authorities were able to identify the child, Dearly previously reported.
And last week, police finally revealed his identity.
The boy’s real name was Jayden Alexander Lopez, a 4-year-old from the Houston area. He appeared to suffer from prolonged abuse before his body was dumped into the water.Galveston Police Department
The boy’s mother, 34-year-old Rebecca Rivera, and her girlfriend, 31-year-old Dania Amezquita Gomez, were arrested in connection to his death last week.
And in a disturbing interview with police, Rivera revealed that Jayden suffered for weeks before his death.
According to WLKY, the mother said the 4-year-old hit his head on a wall about two weeks before he died.
Rivera said that she cleaned the injury with alcohol, which spilled on his face. In the days that followed, his face swelled up.
She said he “acted differently” and soon “became a problem.” He started becoming lethargic and complaining that his stomach hurt.
The mother said she panicked and started beating him with whatever she “could find,” such as coat hangers.
Around two weeks after his head injury, “she could tell it was the end.”Galveston Police Department
She told police that he died in his sleep.
Rivera and Gomez then drove to Galveston, where they dumped Jayden’s body in the water— because they knew he liked going to the beach.
A toll booth photo from their drive helped lead to their arrest, WLKY reports.
So far, the mother and her girlfriend have been charged with felony tampering with or fabricating physical evidence, Dearly previously reported.
When asked why she didn’t get medical help, Rivera said she didn’t want her children to be taken away. Her younger 3-year-old son is now in protective custody.
Police have not released Jayden’s official cause of death.