A Contra Costa County couple claimed their toddler had accidentally drowned in a bathtub, but authorities found signs of "prolonged abuse," and arrested them on charges of murder, child abuse, and torture.
It was just before 9 p.m. Monday night when Contra Costa County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a call of a two-year-old accidentally drowning in a bathtub, in the small town of Rodeo. The child was rushed to the hospital, but pronounced dead there. Though according to the Contra Costa DA’s office, detectives determined the death was not accidental, but the result of “prolonged abuse.” And the couple have since been arrested and jailed on suspicion of murder, child abuse, and torture, according to KPIX.
Per KTVU, the pair are 21-year-old Tyshawn Haywood and 22-year-old Destiny Deboe, and both remain in custody at the Martinez Detention Facility. That station notes that they had a second ten-month-old child in their household, who also had injuries from abuse. It’s unclear whether Haywood and Deboe are the childrens’ parents, or what their relationship is to the two children.
The DA’s office has not clarified who, if anyone, has taken custody of the ten-month-old child.
KRON4 has the additional detail that the two-year-old was a boy, and spoke to some of the neighbors who live near the California Street household.
“The boy was beaten up by the mom to death and they covered it up that he got drowned,” one neighbor told that station. “Cause, to me, no matter what, you’re a mom. You don’t remove your eye when you put your child in the tub.”
It’s not yet announced when Haywood and Deboe will be arraigned. But KPIX reports the couple are being held in $1.7 million bail, on charges of murder, felony infliction of injury to a child, and torture.
"The loss of a young life deeply impacts us all," District Attorney Diana Becton said in a statement picked up by KGO. "Our thoughts and sympathies go out to the family and loved ones of the victim during this incredibly difficult time. We are committed to seeking justice and holding those responsible accountable for their actions."
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