Teen's Mom Charged With Manslaughter
Charges Upgraded For 30-Year-Old In Death Of 13-Year-Old Daughter
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jacksonville mother is now charged with manslaughter in the death of her 13-year-old mentally disabled daughter in June.
Jessica Rivera, 30, had pleaded not guilty in July to child neglect. Her charges have since been upgraded and bail set at $100,000.
Jacksonville police said Ramona Bones died of malnutrition six days after being found in bad condition in her home. Doctors said she was covered in lice and had core temperatures that were 15 degrees lower than normal, according to police.
Prosecutors said Bones autopsy revealed that she died of natural causes but had many medical complications.
Police said Rivera admitted to them that she hadn't cared for her daughter.
Rivera's three other children, ages 5, 7 and 8, have been removed from the home and placed in the custody of other family members, according to the Department of Children and Families. DCF said it's meeting with the children at least once a month and has arranged counseling services for them.
Rivera told police her daughter was sometimes a burden to her, according to a police report.
"We want to investigate all death cases very thoroughly because it's so serious," DCF spokesman John Harrell said. "We're very disturbed by what we've heard regarding this child in this home. No child should have to live this way. We're disturbed that the mother said the child was a burden."
Police arrested Rivera the night she called 911 to get help for her daughter.
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