A 29-year-old man has been arrested after a 5-year-old boy died in a suspected case of child abuse in Rialto, police said Wednesday.
Officers responded to a report of a child not breathing in the 1100 block of South Althea Avenue just before 2:30 a.m. Tuesday, according to a Rialto Police Department news release.
They found the boy unconscious after making contact with his stepmother and immediately began attempting emergency life-saving measures.
Paramedics arrived and transported the boy to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, according to the release.
He has not been identified.
The victim’s death triggered an investigation, and detectives uncovered evidence that the boy suffered “severe visible injuries from suspected child abuse,” the release stated.
Investigators determined he had been physically abused as recently as the hours before he died.
A cause of death, however, is not yet known.
Miguel Castaneda Sr. was subsequently arrested on suspicion of homicide and felony child abuse after investigators interviewed him, police said. He was booked into the West Valley Detention Center and is ineligible for bail, inmate records indicated.
Police did not immediately confirm the relationship between the man and child, but the San Bernardino Sun identified the suspect as the boy’s father.
Anyone with information about the case is urged to call Detective Ralph Ballew at 909-820-8055 or email him at Rballew@rialtopd.com.