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VENTURA COUNTY NEWS

Second Suspect Is Arrested in Fatal Child Abuse Case

February 18, 2001|HOLLY J. WOLCOTT | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

An Oxnard man has been arrested in connection with the abuse death of a 14-month-old boy who died in October, authorities said Saturday.

Patrick Santillano, 32, was booked Friday on suspicion of murder, willful cruelty and assault on a child under 8, according to deputies at the Ventura County Jail.

Santillano's girlfriend, Teresa Rodriguez, 20, was arrested Oct. 24 and has pleaded not guilty to murder and willful cruelty in the same case.

Each remained jailed Saturday on $1 million bail, deputies said.

According to Oxnard police, the couple were caring for the boy, Ion Demitri Robledo, after his mother was ordered to serve a jail sentence.

The child was pronounced dead Oct. 22 when Rodriguez took him to St. John's Regional Medical Center in Oxnard after noticing that he wasn't breathing, according to search warrant affidavits.

An autopsy revealed the child was underweight and died as a result of neglect and physical abuse. Doctors found lesions on his mouth, ears, wrists and ankles as well as bruises from head to toe, according to court and police records.

Police arrested Rodriguez two days after the boy's death after she went to another hospital and gave birth to her own baby. Santillano was arrested Friday when he arrived at a Ventura courtroom for a hearing. The purpose of the hearing could not immediately be determined.

Santillano will be arraigned Wednesday. Rodriguez was scheduled to return to court March 6 for further proceedings.

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