Caretaker accused of murder after toddler dies from blunt force trauma, Iowa police said


Sep. 7 2021, Published 10:18 a.m. ET

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A caretaker is accused of the first-degree murder of a nearly 2-year-old boy, police said.

On Aug. 1, 2020, a 23-month-old boy was taken to the hospital by a private vehicle, according to police in Hampton, Iowa. Medical staff tried to provide care for the baby, but he died.

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A few days later, the Iowa State Medical Examiner’s Office determined the child died from multiple blunt force injuries and his death was ruled a homicide, according to Hampton police.

Police started an investigation and Johnny Junior Salvatore Suarez Rivera was identified as the caretaker and suspect in the boy’s death, according to police.

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Then, more than a year later, on Sept. 5, police arrested Rivera and charged him with first-degree murder and child endangerment resulting in death. Hampton police did not say why it took months to arrest the suspect or how the toddler sustained the injuries.

Rivera is being held in the Hardin County jail.

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