On August 21st, at about 4:20 in the afternoon, a phone call was placed into emergency dispatchers concerning a 28 month old that had allegedly fallen down the stairs and was no longer breathing.
A neighbor, Oscar Martinez was just returning home from work when his attention was drawn to the commotion in front of the house. He said that he ran inside and found the body of the young girl, "alone in the room." He said that he checked for a pulse, but that "she was cold." "I saw some six bruises here on her forehead," Martinez said. "On the side of her face it looked like he had hit her like this," he said, mimicking a punch.
Emergency crews responded to the scene and immediately began CPR in an attempt to revive the toddler. Shortly after paramedics arrived, Trenton Police Sgt. Anthony Manzo arrived on the scene and relayed to dispatch that it appeared as though rigor mortis had already begun to set in.
The child, later identified as Victoria Merino-Rodriguez was rushed to the hospital where she was pronounced dead.
It was clear to officers that responded to the scene that the injuries the toddler had sustained were the result of more than just a fall, so they detained all of the residents in the home for questioning, including 25-year-old Maison Andres Torres.
According to the Mercer County Prosecutor's Office, Torres is responsible for scalding Victoria, beating her, and then suffocating her with his hands. Revealed in court on the 23rd, additional charges have been filed against Torres of first-degree aggravated sexual assault, second-degree sexual assault and second-degree endangering the welfare of a child based on autopsy findings. This is in addition to the initial charges of first degree murder and second-degree endangering the welfare of a child.
Torres is due in court tomorrow the 27th for a detention hearing.