By Carey Codd

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POMPANO BEACH (CBSMiami) – The mother of an abused infant, who police said died at the hands of her roommate, wants to share her side of the story.

“She was a very happy baby.”

Keshia Walsh remembers the day in late October she left for work and left her 6-month-old Makenzie Nevarez and her older son with her roommate, Juan Santos, and his daughter in this Pompano Beach apartment.

Once at work Walsh said Santos texted her that Makenzie wasn’t breathing.

She raced to the hospital and learned that her daughter actually suffered a significant head injury.

Makenzie died several days later.

She says she’s never gotten a straight answer about what happened.

“I want to know why. I want to ask the question why. Why would you do that? I don’t understand why you would hurt someone else’s child,” she said.

According to the arrest report, Santos initially told investigators that Makenzie threw up and stopped breathing.

juan santos Exclusive: Mother Of Dead Baby Says There Were Red Flags Around Roommate’s Story

Juan Santos is accused of slamming a 6-month-old girl’s head against a wooden bedpost. (Source: Broward Sheriff’s Office)

Later he admitted he accidentally hit her head on a bed post, but didn’t tell first responders that right away.

He is being charged with murder.

Walsh said there were other red flags.

“You didn’t call 911. You called me and you didn’t do nothing. There was no CPR done on her,” Walsh said. “I actually trusted him. He was a single dad. He had his own daughter. He’s taken care of his own daughter. He doesn’t spank his daughter.”

Walsh’s life at the time was complicated.

Chris Nevarez, the father of her two kids, told CBS4 that Walsh left with the kids and that he could not locate them.

She said the couple had broken up and that Nevarez could see his kids anytime.

“Chris knew that if he called me, he was allowed to see them,” she said.

Eleven days before Makenzie’s fatal injuries, Walsh learned that her daughter had a broken arm and leg. This working mom said she didn’t know how it occurred.

The Broward Sheriff’s Office began an investigation and said that Walsh did not appear suspicious and was deeply concerned for Makenzie’s wellbeing.

What haunts her is the decision to leave her daughter with Santos for just a short period of time on that fateful day last fall.

“If I thought that somebody was trying to hurt her, I would have never done it. I was at work. It was only an hour,” Walsh said.

CBS4 has learned from the arrest report that the Medical Examiner’s Office determined Makenzie’s head was impacted several times. Her fatal injuries were likely from what they called non-accidental trauma.


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