Homestead Toddler Dies Following Alleged Abuse

MIAMI (CBS4) – A toddler allegedly abused by his father was taken off life-support Sunday afternoon.

Jayden Morales Villegas,2, was pronounced dead at Miami Children’s hospital at 1:30 pm.

“It hurts a lot, he was just my baby,” said Jayden’s mother, Vanessa Morales, after she made the devastating decision to let her son go. “I just told him to be strong. That we love him and his brothers love him and that I will never forget him.”

Police say 29-year-old Angel Villegas, a father of nine, had been caring for his son, Jayden, and his siblings at his apartment in Homestead. Two weeks ago, the Department of Children and Families reportedly removed Jayden and Morales’ three other sons from her home and sent them to live with Villegas.

On Tuesday, police say Villegas became frustrated with Jayden, who had been battling a cold and vomiting after every meal. During dinner the boy threw up again, and police say Villegas violently threw his son on a bed, causing the 2-year-old to hit his head against a wall.

“Mad, hate and really confused because I never thought he would do something like that,” said Villegas. “Why did he take his anger out on a two-year-old, especially his son, his son.”

According to an arrest affidavit, Villegas found his son unresponsive on the bed the next morning.

Jayden was taken to a Miami Children’s Hospital, where he was declared brain dead.

Villegas was arrested and his charges were upgraded from attempted second-degree murder to second-degree murder and aggravated child abuse.

Now that Jayden has died it is likely those charges will be increased.

“I understand he’s in jail, he got what he deserved but it’s not going to bring my baby back. It’s not going to bring him back,” said Morales.

Villegas is being held on $110,000 bond, if he bonds out he will be placed on house arrest.

Both Villegas and Morales’ children remain in DCF custody.

Villegas does not have a prior history with the agency.


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