Mom, boyfriend now face felony murder charges in 2-year-old boy's death

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) Wednesday, October 2, 2019

(Source: GoFundMe)

Wichita police say a 24-year-old mother and her 31-year-old boyfriend could now face a charge of felony murder in the death of the woman's two-year-old son.

Officers arrested Bernardo Gonzalez-Mejia for child abuse and Stephanie Aviles for aggravated child endangerment on Sunday regarding the death of 2-year-old Jacob Aviles.

Police say an autopsy completed on Jacob by the Regional Forensic Science Center led to the new arresting charges.

Officers responded to an assist fire call on Sunday at a residence in the 1100 block of west Munnell around 11 a.m. They arrived to find Jacob not breathing. Medical treatment was performed, but the boy was pronounced dead on the scene.

Police say Jacob was found to have extensive bruising on his body.

A GoFundMe has been set up to raise money for the boy's funeral expenses.

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Monday, September 30, 2019

Wichita police arrested a mother and her boyfriend after a two-year-old boy died at their home on Sunday.

Officers responded to the home in the 1100 block of W. Munnell around 11 a.m. after the boy was found not breathing.

Firefighters and EMS tried to resuscitate the boy, but he died.

Police arrested the boy's mother, 24-year-old Stephanie Aviles, for aggravated child endangerment and her live-in boyfriend, Bernardo Gonzales-Mejia, 31, for child abuse.

Capt. Brent Allred, with the Wichita Police Department, said there was extensive bruising on the boy's entire body which led to the arrests. An autopsy will determine his cause of death and whether additional charges will be filed.

Allred said Aviles was not at home at the time her son died. She was running an errand with another child.

He said Gonzales-Mejia called Aviles to let her know the boy was not breathing, and she eventually called 911.

Allred said the family has had a limited history with law enforcement. There was one report through the Department of Children for Families and another through police. Neither pertained to abuse.

Neighbors say it makes them want to be more vigilant.

"Maybe we will all watch out for the kids just a little bit better on this street. If we see something, we'll say something. It may overflood the system but maybe being overcautious is what we need," said one woman.

Allred said two other children, a 6-year-old boy and 2-year-old girl, lived in the home with the boy. They are now in protective custody pending the determination of the best placement.

This is the third child death Wichita police have worked this year.