'The child may not make it:' Three in custody in connection with Edinburg child abuse investigation

'The child may not make it:' Three in custody in connection with Edinburg child abuse investigation
2 months 1 week 5 days ago Thursday, May 09 2024 May 9, 2024 May 09, 2024 12:17 PM May 09, 2024 in News - Local

EDITOR'S NOTE: A previous version of this article named Mathew Martinez as the father of the child.

Two women were arrested and charged after a 17-month-old infant arrived unresponsive at DHR Health, according to the Edinburg Police Department.

The child was beaten with a wooden board, and the child's mother and a second woman confessed to the beating, according to an Edinburg judge.

Selena Quintanilla Silva, 21, and Maria del Rosario Castillo, 50, were arraigned Thursday on charges of tampering with evidence, injury to a child, perjury and child endangerment.

Bond for both women was set at $420,000 each. They also have a protective order against them that prevents them from seeing or communicating with the infant for 91 days. 

Mathew Martinez, a third suspect identified as Silva's live-in boyfriend and Castillo's son, is in police custody in Beaumont in connection with the investigation, according to a news release.

At the arraignment for Silva and Castillo, Edinburg Municipal Court Judge Hector Bustos noted the seriousness of the infant's injuries. 

"The child was beat to a pulp," Bustos said. "The child is intubated right now because the child may not make it."

On May 7, Edinburg police officers responded to DHR Health following a report of an injury to a child at around 11 a.m.

City of Edinburg Spokesperson Roxanne Lerma said nursing staff told officers that the infant arrived with visible bruising all over her body and a laceration under her chin.

Lerma said through the course of the investigation, both Silva and Castillo made "incriminating statements" regarding the infant's injuries.

Citing a probable cause affidavit, Bustos said the infant was struck multiple times with a wooden board, and there's "confessions" that the women committed it.

"I gotta be frank with you all, after looking at those pictures, you have a lot of explaining to do," Bustos told the suspects at their arraignment. "There’s a presumption of innocence, but those are some of the worst pictures I’ve ever seen. What that child has endured, no child should endure that….those pictures are not good. You feel for that child."

Lerma said the infant is currently in critical but stable condition and was airlifted to Driscoll Children's Hospital for further care.

Martinez, who is not the biological father of the infant, will be transferred to Edinburg and arraigned at a later time.

If convicted on the more serious charge of injury to a child, Silva and Castillo face up to 99 years in jail. 

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