Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa mom charged after her 1-year-old son dies

TAMPA — Seven days after Anjenette Lopez's 1-year-old son fractured his skull — an injury so severe a friend described it as "Elephant Man" — she decided to take him to a hospital, police say.

By then, doctors weren't able to save him.

Tampa police said the child, whom they identified as 15-month-old Jayden Luis Sarria, died Monday at St. Joseph's Children's Hospital.

On Thursday, officers arrested Lopez and charged her with aggravated manslaughter, a felony, in her son's death.

Lopez, 34, of Tampa told officers she thought the boy had hit his head in the bathtub on Sept. 20. She took Jayden to Florida Hospital on Sept. 27, police said. He was transferred to St. Joseph's Children's Hospital, where he died Monday.

The Hillsborough County Medical Examiner's Office ruled the boy's death a homicide as a result of blunt impact to the head.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office Child Protection Unit also has begun an investigation.

"We do have an open case on this family," said Larry McKinnon, a sheriff's spokesman.

Three other children in the home with Lopez were removed, said Terri Durdaller, a spokesman for the Florida Department of Children and Families.

"It's a tragic situation. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this time," Durdaller said. "In a case like this, our No. 1 priority is the safety of anyone else in the house under the age of 18. We always look to protect any other siblings in the household."

The DCF said it will issue a final report when it has a comprehensive death review — a process that could take months.

The boy nicknamed "Chinito" loved to have lullabies sung to him, the Gonzalez Funeral Home said in an obituary.

Lopez has no violent criminal history in Florida. She was arrested in 2009 and charged with a misdemeanor of driving with a license that was suspended, canceled or revoked, records show. She was released on her own recognizance.

Patricia Calderon, 50, of Brooksville has known Lopez for 10 years and is the paternal grandmother of her 8-year-old son.

She said she saw Jayden during her twice-a-month trips to Tampa to pick up her grandson for weekend visitation.

"He was an awesome kid," said Calderon, who owns a family interior carpentry business. "He was a very happy kid."

Calderon found out belatedly that her daughter saw Jayden with a black eye after the Sept. 20 incident. "She told my daughter that he had fallen in the bathtub," she said.

After the incident, the DCF took Lopez's other children, ages 8, 3, and 2, into state custody, Calderon said. Her family is working to get her grandson back.

Lopez was booked Thursday night into the Hillsborough County jail, where she was held without bail.

Visitation for Jayden will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday at the Gonzalez Funeral Home, 7209 N Dale Mabry Highway.

Times news researcher John Martin contributed to this report.

Tampa mom charged after her 1-year-old son dies 10/04/12 [Last modified: Thursday, October 4, 2012 11:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Clearwater residents avoid tax rate increase for ninth year in row

    Local Government

    CLEARWATER — Residents will avoid a rate hike on their property taxes for the ninth year in a row as taxable values continue to recover from recession levels, padding city coffers.

    Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos said the city must be prepared for unexpected expenses. JIM DAMASKE   |   Times
  2. Rays beat Orioles, but tough stretch looms that could change their plans (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tuesday was a step back in the right direction for the Rays, who halted a season-high five-game losing streak by hanging on — and we mean that pretty much literally — for a 5-4 win over the Orioles.

    The Rays’ Tim Beckham celebrates with Mallex Smith after hitting a three-run homer in the second inning for a 5-0 lead.
  3. Diaz, Taddeo win easily in special Miami Senate primaries


    Two Miami state Senate candidates who raised and spent the most in their respective primaries — Republican Rep. Jose Felix Diaz and Democratic businesswoman Annette Taddeo — notched easy victories in a special election Tuesday night.

    Republican candidate Jose Felix Diaz is surrounded by supporters after he won the primary for Florida’s Senate District 40 race. Democrat Annette Taddeo, right, celebrates her victory with supporter Venus Lovely at BJ’s Restaurant in The Falls.
  4. In live debate, Kriseman and Baker ask St. Pete: Is the city better off?



    Mayoral candidates Rick Kriseman and Rick Baker made their best pitch to voters in front of a live television audience on Tuesday night. The candidates essentially asked this: Is the city better off now than it was four years ago?

    Incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman and former Mayor Rick Baker debate in front of a live television audience during the City of St. Petersburg Mayoral Debate at the Palladium Theater in St. Petersburg on Tuesday evening. The event was sponsored by the Tampa Bay Times and Bay News 9. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
  5. Romano: It all comes down to sewage in this mayoral race

    Local Government

    Well, poop.

    Nothing else really matters, does it?

    Schools, economic development, public safety? Pfft. The Rays stadium, affordable housing, the pier? Ack. When it comes to the St. Petersburg mayoral election, sewage is the yin, the yang and the yuck.

    At Tuesday’s debate, incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman said responsibility lies on him regarding the sewage crisis.