8 months after boy’s body washed ashore, Galveston PD makes arrest

Jaden Lopez - Galveston boy

GALVESTON, Texas (KXAN) — The mother of a boy whose body washed ashore on a beach in Galveston last October has been arrested and charged with tampering or fabricating evidence.

For the past eight months, the boy has gone by “Little Jacob” since authorities had no information on the boy’s real identity. The boy, who was between 3 and 4 years old, was found Oct. 20, 2017. Police say autopsy results did not determine a cause of death but showed the boy did not drown. However, the autopsy did reveal the boy died sometime between Oct. 17-18, 2017. The autopsy also showed the boy had suffered neglect and had injuries consistent with abuse.

In hopes of generating tips on the boy’s identity, at the beginning of this year, the Galveston Police Department released photos of the boy’s face. Police say the release of the child’s photo worked because in a news conference Wednesday, KPRC reports the boy was identified as 4-year-old Jayden Lopez of Houston. 

After the boy was identified, investigators determined he was in the care of his mother and her girlfriend at the time of his death. Police believe the mother, Rebecca Rivera, and her girlfriend, Dania Amezquita-Gomez, came to Galveston to dump the boy’s body, Galveston Police Chief Vernon Hale said.

The mother’s girlfriend is also charged with tampering or fabricating evidence.

“If not for the public’s help, Jayden would likely have never been identified and we would never have been able to truly lay him to rest,” said the Galveston Police Department in a press release.

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