A Texas mother has been arrested after an autopsy found a disturbing new fact in the death of her two-year-old daughter, officials said.
While the toddler’s death was initially believed to have been from an accidental self-inflicted gunshot, the autopsy found Juelz Gonzalez, 2, did not shoot herself as the bullet came from a distance and not close range, Fox 29 of San Antonio reported.
Her mother, Jessica Cantu, 35, was subsequently arrested Thursday and charged with endangering a child, the San Antonio Police Department said. The arrest came four months after Juelz’s death.
"Initially it was reported to police that the child shot herself," the SAPD said, FOX 29 reported. "Through the course of the investigation investigators gathered additional evidence including the medical examiner's report that determined the child had not shot herself. With enough probable cause they were able to issue a warrant for child endangerment."
Cantu, her boyfriend, and her four-year-old daughter were all in the Texas home on the night of February 18, when Juelz died, police said, though Cantu’s arrest affidavit said Juelz was alone in another room when they heard a "pop."
"This case has been investigated thoroughly by our detectives. Preliminary information given can change through the course of an investigation, and in this case, evidence was found to charge the suspects with the listed offense on the affidavit," the SAPD said, per the report. "Any upgraded charges will come from the District Attorney’s Office. I would refer you to them for any comment on potential charges being upgraded."
The gun belonged to the boyfriend, Joshua Christopher Ramirez, 32, who was arrested for owning the gun that resulted in Juelz’s death.
Juelz's biological father, Julio Gonzalez, told FOX 29 he was not at the home at the time of the shooting and was praying for all those who have ever lost a child, the outlet reported.
Cantu is being held on a $150,000 bond, the SAPD said.