Barstow couple accused of abusing, killing their 1-year-old son

Antanita Miller, 24, and Ricardo Mendez, 27, were arrested after the body of their one-year-old son was brought to a hospital with obvious signs of abuse (Pomona Police Department)

The parents of a 1-year-old boy who died from injuries that police say are clear signs of abuse have been arrested.

Ricardo Mendez, 27, and Antanita Miller, 24, were arrested Monday after the body of their 1-year-old son was brought to a Pomona hospital with injuries that were “consistent with ongoing abuse.”

Police say the Barstow couple drove from their home in San Bernardino County and unexpectedly showed up at Mendez’ family home in Pomona with their son’s lifeless body in the back of their car. Mendez’ family immediately took the boy to the hospital, but the parents stayed behind, according to the Pomona Police Department.

When the boy arrived at the hospital he was immediately pronounced dead.

Police were called to the hospital and confirmed that the boy had obvious signs of trauma such as “lesions, bruising, and burn marks.” Some of the injuries appeared to be in various stages of healing, indicating that the boy was likely a victim of ongoing abuse. Medical staff also determined that the child likely died from the injuries before he was brought to Pomona.

Miller eventually arrived at the hospital where she was detained by police. Mendez never arrived at the hospital, but was picked up by police on the 2100 block of Spencer Street in Pomona.

Police homicide detectives were assigned the case and interviewed members of the family. Search warrants were obtained for both the couple’s vehicle and their home on the 700 block of E. Virginia Way in Barstow. Investigators found evidence that police believe was used in the abuse of the child.

Mendez was booked at the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga where he awaits charges for murder and violating his parole. Miller was also booked into the West Valley Detention Center and is also expected to be charged with murder.

The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is urged to contact detective Matthew Helms at 760-255-5132. You can also submit an anonymous tip at wetip.com.