JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After a 5-year-old boy's death Monday was determined to result from abuse, the Camden County Sheriff's Office arrested the child's mother on a charge of murder and her boyfriend was charged with making false statements.
The Sheriff's Office said Maria Miranda Alas, from El Salvador, and her boyfriend flagged down a deputy Monday in Kingsland and communicated through broken English that the boy in her lap was unconscious. The couple was escorted to Camden Medical Center.
As the child's condition worsened, he was flown by air ambulance to Wolfson Children's Hospital in Jacksonville, where the boy died.
After the medical examiner ruled that the child's death resulted from abuse, Alas, 25, was arrested Thursday and charged with two counts of cruelty to a child and one count of murder.
Her companion, Max Mejia Meza, 23, was arrested an charged with making false statements and writings. Both remain in the Camden County Jail awaiting a court hearing.
Authorities said Arias was living in Kingsland and police there along with the Naval Criminal Investigate Service assisted in the investigation, even though neither of those arrested ever served in the military.
Several neighbors told News4Jax they heard the boy drowned, but they didn't know about the abuse charge. A Georgia Bureau of Investigation document dated Monday requesting a crime scene examination at the family home also indicated the boy drowned.
"Originally, it was a 5-year-old that had drowned in the pool, and then I get on Facebook and there’s a link and it’s a child died of abuse from their own parents, and it's tragic and it's sad," Erica Maynard said. "I really hope that she gets what she deserves and that she feels as much pain or more that she put her child through.”