She allegedly told police he injured his head approximately two weeks before he died by hitting his head on the wall.

By Harriet Sokmensuer
June 26, 2018

The mom of the 4-year-old whose body washed ashore in Texas in 2017 and was identified last week allegedly admitted to abusing him after his behavior changed following a head injury, according to multiple news reports.

Last Wednesday, police identified the boy they’d previously dubbed “Little Jacob” as 4-year-old Jayden Alexander Lopez, of Houston. Jayden’s body was found on a beach in Galveston last October. In an effort to identify the child, police released a sketch of his face and images of his dead body.

His mother, Rebecca Rivera, 34, and her girlfriend, 31-year-old Dania Amezquita-Gomez, were charged in connection to this death.

In an interview with Galveston police last Tuesday, Rivera allegedly told police Jayden injured his head approximately two weeks before he died by hitting his head on the wall, according to local TV station WLKY.

Rivera allegedly told investigators that subsequently, Jayden’s behavior changed and he “became a problem,” local station KHOU reports.

According to the Associated Press, Rivera allegedly said she had used alcohol to clean the head injury her son sustained but the alcohol accidentally spilled on the boy’s face after she and Amezquita-Gomez began to argue.

Jayden’s face began to swell and his health declined over a period of two weeks, Rivera said, according to allegations in court documents cited by the AP.

She also allegedly admitted to striking the boy out of stress, using clothes hangers and “whatever I could find.”

Eventually, Rivera allegedly told investigators “she could tell it was the end” and that Jayden had died.

Days after his death, Rivera allegedly said she dumped her son’s body at the seashore in the middle of the night because he liked the beach, the AP reports.

Police have not said how the little boy died, but they have indicated he did not drown.

Authorities received two anonymous tips after releasing pictures of Jayden’s body last year, according to KHOU.

Amezquita-Gomez was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of tampering with or fabricating physical evidence with a $100,000 bond, according to court records obtained by PEOPLE.

Rivera was arrested on a felony charge of tampering with or fabricating physical evidence with a $250,000 bond. Both women are being held at the Galveston County Jail, the court records state.

Rivera’s attorney, Christopher Henderson, declined comment when reached by PEOPLE. No attorney information was immediately available for Amezquita-Gomez.

Neither defendant has entered a plea.

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