Minnesosta Couple Charged With Beating Death of 3-Year-Old Boy

Prosecutors this week charged a Minnesota couple with murder in th edeath of a 3-year-old boy they were caring for in March.

Rosa Esperanza Garza, 24, and Shiann Lynn Erickson, 22, have been charged with second degree murder while committing felony child neglect and endangerment, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

The autopsy report for little Eastyn James Deronjic says that he died from an assault, particularly a blow that perforated his bowel. The report said investigators catalogued 28 blunt force injuries.

Moorhead Police officers saw heavy bruising on his face and body when they were called to the couple’s apartment at about 1 a.m. on March 18 by another woman who had been asked to watch the children because Erickson was sick and needed to go to the hospital.

But the woman said the boy was also sick and had been throwing up.

Detectives came to the hospital and began contacting family members, including Deronjic’s mother, Allandra Arechigo, who told investigators she left her two children — Deronjic and his infant sister — in the care of Garza and Erickson and hadn’t seen them in two weeks at the time of the boy’s death.

Garza, who goes by male pronouns and uses the name Mason, told police at the hospital that Deronjic had been throwing up all day and complained that his stomach was hurting, the affidavit said. Erickson thought the boy should go to the hospital, but Garza said no.

The next day, Garza told police that Deronjic’s bruising was caused when he passed out while sitting on the toilet. Later he said the boy fell off his bike and skateboard.

Erickson told police that Garza had been abusive toward her and occasionally lost his temper with the boy. She said she had at times stood between Garza and the boy to keep the child from being hit.

Deronjic’s paternal grandparents told investigators they last saw the boy on March 11 and that he appeared happy but had bruising on his legs, back, and stomach, according to Valley News Live.

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