ARIZONA NEWS

Glendale police arrest mother and her boyfriend after baby dies from blunt force trauma

Apr 11, 2024, 9:46 AM | Updated: Apr 12, 2024, 8:55 am

Glendale mother and her boyfriend accused of killing baby boy...

Tina Mejia, left, and Jacob Gano were arrested after the death of Mejia's son. (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office photos)

(Maricopa County Sheriff's Office photos)

PHOENIX — Glendale police arrested a mother and her boyfriend on Tuesday after investigating the death of a 7-month-old boy.

Tina Mejia, 26, and Jacob Gano, 23, allegedly drove around to buy and sell illegal drugs with the boy in the car after he suffered serious injuries last month, according to court records.

While the suspects denied causing the child’s fatal injuries, saying he was hurt by falling 11 inches from a mattress, the autopsy ruled the death as a homicide from blunt force trauma to the head.

Mother and her boyfriend allegedly prioritized drugs over baby’s health

Police believe the boy sustained injuries around 9 p.m. on March 30.

Mejia and Gano admitted they saw the swelling on the right side of the baby’s head, but they both went to sleep in their shared apartment in Glendale, arrest documents said.

An autopsy report said the child would have been in extreme pain after his injuries, making him scream or cry continually.

“It would have been obvious to someone monitoring his condition as Jacob and Tina described themselves doing that he would have needed immediate medical attention,” arrest documents said. “Both admitted that they were concerned that the other had abused the child, causing the injury intentionally.”

Although Mejia and Gano should have known the baby needed medical attention, they didn’t take him to the hospital until the next night, according to arrest documents.

A nurse from Dignity Health Arizona General Hospital in Glendale called police around 8:30 p.m. on March 31 to report the child’s death. The boy was “cold to the touch and limp” when he arrived at the hospital, according to arrest documents.

Following an investigation, Mejia and Gano were both booked into jail on charges of child abuse and murder. Bonds were set at $500,000 each.

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Glendale police arrest mother and her boyfriend after baby dies from blunt force trauma