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Toddler’s Remains Found in Toy Box at Abandoned Home in Tucson

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Cleaners at a vacant home in Tucson found the skeletal remains of a 3-year-old boy in a backyard toy chest, leading to the arrest of the toddler’s parents this week.


Roman Barreras seen here in a photo provided by the non-profit group Homicide Survivors in Tucson.

Martin Raymond Barreras, 45, and Raquel Marcela Barreras, 39, were both charged with child abuse and the mother faces a first-degree murder charge. They were being held in Pima County Jail.

The couple recently had been evicted from the house where the remains were found, Tucson police said. The landlords were cleaning up the messy backyard on Tuesday afternoon when they found the remains of a small child in a blue toy chest, police said. The chest was in a structure attached to the outside of the house.

The couple has four other children, three of whom were taken into state custody because they are minors, police said.


Raquel Marcela Barreras, 39 and Martin Raquel Marcela Barreras, 39 and Raymond Barreras, 45 (Credit: Tucson Police Department)

The surviving children include a 19-year old daughter, a 12-year old son, a 7-year old daughter and a 4-year old daughter. They had suffered from neglect, but not abuse, police said.

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Homicide Survivors, a nonprofit organization that works with the families of homicide victims in Tucson, is collecting funds to help with Ramon’s funeral expenses.  Click here for more information on how you can help.