A MOTHER has been arrested in connection with the death of her two-year-old daughter, months after she claimed the child died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Jessica Cantu, 35, was charged on Friday after police determined her daughter Juelz Gonzalez had not been shot at close range when she suffered a fatal gunshot wound to the head.
San Antonio police said additional evidence was gathered during the investigation, “including the coroner’s report, which concluded that the child did not shoot himself.”
Police said Cantu was in another room with her four-year-old daughter when the gun went off in the bedroom next to them. Juelz had been in the room watching a movie on a cell phone.
The only adults in the home were Cantu and her 32-year-old boyfriend, Joshua Ramirez, according to police reports.
“You as a carer have a responsibility whether you commit the actual act or know what is happening, you have a duty to protect, you have a duty to act,” Carrie Wilcoxson, advocate for child abuse prevention, told NEWS4SA.
“That was avoidable. That’s the part of it that’s so tragic.”
After the shooting, Ramirez fled the scene but was arrested in March. It was later revealed that Cantu bought the gun involved in her daughter’s death for Ramirez, who cannot buy firearms because she is a felon.
According to the San Antonio Express-News, Cantu originally told law enforcement that she didn’t know Ramirez had the gun in the house.
However, she reportedly told police that Ramirez put the gun in a duffel bag when he was about to sell drugs.
The bag was reportedly found next to the bed where Juelz was lying.
The little girl died in hospital nine days after she was shot.
Her mother has been charged with endangering a child and is currently in prison on $150,000 bail.
Ramirez faces charges of possession of a firearm while he was a felon.
It’s possible there will be more charges in this case, but police said they would come from the prosecutor’s office.
Juelz’s biological father, Julio Gonzalez, was not present at the time of the shooting. He said he lives to honor his daughter and prays for all those affected by the loss of a child to gun violence.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/5591744/toddler-mother-arrested-shooting-death-texas/ Mystery surrounding death of toddler who ‘shot himself in the head’ as mother is arrested after shock autopsy results