Around 4 a.m. on Jan. 13, Kerri Anne Santos, 33, arrived at the University of New Mexico Hospital, according to the Albuquerque Police Department.
Santos had her three children with her, including a 3-year-old daughter who was wrapped up in a blanket, KRQE reported.
Santos told authorities that she came from Massachusetts and the toddler fell ill as they were traveling through New Mexico. According to the mother, the girl injured herself falling from a toilet at a gas station, and she brought her into the hospital, according to KRQE.
Medical staff determined the girl was dead on arrival, and they called police.
Authorities noted the girl had bruises and pressure marks on her ankles and called in detectives from Crimes Against Children. Santos' other two children were placed with the Children, Youth, and Families Department while the detectives investigated.
Santos’ oldest child spoke with detectives and said Santos, Christina Hopkins Pena-Cantor, 46, and her son, Austin Bing, 28, all traveled to Albuquerque from Massachusetts with the three children, ABQ RAW reported.
- Philadelphia Woman Arrested After Bruised Baby Girl In Her Care Found Dead In Bathtub, Police Say
- FPD Top News of the Week: 11-Year-Old Accused of Threatening Classmate With Box Cutter; Police Use Snapchat to Catch Suspect; and More
- Mother Arrested After Malnourished 6-Year-Old Daughter Dies Weighing Just 31 Pounds, Cops Say
The three children may allegedly sexually molested, officials said.
Police arrested Santos, Pena-Cantor, Bing and 48-year-old James Welch, authorities said. Santos, Pena-Cantor and Bing were reportedly staying at Welch’s home in Albuquerque, and Santos allegedly admitted that the little girl’s injuries occurred there, according to law enforcment.
Never miss a story — sign up for the Front Page Detectives newsletter. Be on the scene the moment news breaks.
Santos was charged with two counts of child abuse resulting in great bodily harm, one count of child abuse resulting in death and tampering with evidence, police said.
Pena-Cantor, Bing and Welch were each charged with two counts of child abuse. All four were being held without bond.
Become a Front Page Detective
Sign up to receive breaking
Front Page Detectives
news and exclusive investigations.