Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa police accuse boyfriend of killing toddler

TAMPA — A man who initially said his girlfriend's toddler died after falling down the steps actually beat the boy to death, police said Thursday.

Wilfredo Reyes, 27, of Brandon was taken into custody on suspicion of first-degree murder and aggravated child abuse after he beat 2-year-old Yandel Martinez of Tampa, causing blunt trauma to his abdomen that led to his death, Tampa police say. He was being held in a Hillsborough County jail with no bail Thursday evening.

Yandel died the night of Sept. 6 at 4018 N Howard Ave., where Reyes told police that the boy had fallen down the steps and stopped breathing.

But later during the investigation, Reyes, who was the mother's boyfriend, admitted to police that the boy never fell down the stairs, but that he had struck Yandel in the abdomen "too hard" while disciplining him, according to a search warrant affidavit.

Reyes told police the toddler was "never quite right" after that — short of breath and weak before death, the affidavit states.

Police arrested Reyes during the investigation on a warrant for driving with a suspended license, but he was released.

The Medical Examiner's Office completed an autopsy and toxicology tests this week, determining that Yandel's death was not accidental.

Additional interviews with a witness showed that Yandel had vomited on himself after being beaten. The witness showed police a bedroom closet where Reyes put the boy after beating him as a "timeout," the affidavit states. On the walls were smears that appear to have been body fluids wiped by a small arm.

The Tampa police fugitive apprehension unit worked with the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force to interview people until they re-arrested Reyes, finding him at the Claymore Crossings Apartments in Brandon, where he was staying with a new girlfriend.

He was babysitting her 5-year-old son at the time, police spokeswoman Laura McElroy said.

Justin George can be reached at (813) 226-3368 or

Tampa police accuse boyfriend of killing toddler 09/30/10 [Last modified: Thursday, September 30, 2010 11:25pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Editorial: Floridians' health care now at risk in Washington


    The health care of millions of Floridians is now at risk. The U.S. Senate's dramatic vote Tuesday to begin debate on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act with no idea what will happen is a dangerous gamble with American lives and the national economy. Barring an unexpected bipartisan compromise, a handful of …

    Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., dramatically returned to the Senate for the first time since his brain cancer was diagnosed and cast the key vote that enabled Vice President Mike Pence to break the 50-50 tie and allow the health care debate to proceed.
  2. Former Marine from Florida dies fighting for Kurdish militia

    ORLANDO — A former Marine who secretly traveled to Syria earlier this year to battle the Islamic State was killed while fighting for a Kurdish militia, his father said Tuesday.

  3. Ratings service Nielsen begins tracking live TV consumption on Hulu, YouTube


    TV ratings service Nielsen will begin tracking how many people watch network TV on YouTube and Hulu to gauge how many viewers broadcast networks have through streaming, the company announced Tuesday.

    Nielsen, a ratings company, is monitoring how many viewers watch live TV on Hulu and YouTube to get a better sense of overall viewership. | [AP]
  4. FWC investigates viral video of shark getting dragged behind speeding boat (w/video)


    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is investigating a viral video that shows a shark being dragged behind a boat on a rope as men laugh each time its body slams the water.

    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is investigating a viral video that shows a shark being dragged behind a boat on a rope as men laugh each time its body slams the water. [Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission]
  5. Cheers, whoops for McCain's return, then impassioned speech


    WASHINGTON — In high drama at the Capitol, Sen. John McCain on Tuesday delivered a crucial vote in the Republican drive to dismantle the health care law, a win for President Donald Trump and GOP leaders, and then leveled a broadside at how the GOP got there.

    In this image from video provided by C-SPAN2, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. is embraced by Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer of N.Y. as he arrives of the floor of the Senate on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday. [C-SPAN2 via AP]