The aunt of a 5-year-old boy who died in Coachella was behind bars Monday in connection with the child’s death, in a case that has also led to charges against the boy’s mother and grandmother.
Miriam Silva, 38, surrendered at the Thermal sheriff’s station around 7 p.m. Thursday, according to sheriff’s Sgt. Ben Ramirez. She was being held on $1 million bail at the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside.
Vanessa Cervantes Rangel, 37, Hilaria Rangel, 55, and Silva were all charged Friday morning with one felony count of murder and a misdemeanor count of abuse endangering an 11-year-old boy, according to court records. Vanessa was additionally charged with two felony counts, one each of assault on a child under 8 resulting in death, and torture.
According to court records, Vanessa and Hilaria Rangel were also each charged with three additional misdemeanor counts of abuse endangering a child. Among the other children included was a 13-year-old girl, a 6-year-old girl, and a 9-year-old boy.
The relationships with the other children were not disclosed.
The Rangels are scheduled to be arraigned at the Larson Justice Center in Indio on Wednesday morning.
Deputies from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department’s Thermal station responded to the 50400 block of South Kenmore Street about 7:50 p.m. Sept. 8 to administer juvenile medical aid, according Ramirez.
Ramirez said the deputies were directed to a 5-year-old who was not breathing. Despite efforts from the deputies and Cal Fire medics, the child died at the scene, authorities said. A cause of death has not been released.
Last Tuesday, sheriff’s investigators searched a residence in the 51500 block of Date Street at 7 p.m. and arrested the deceased child’s mother, Vanessa Rangel, according to Ramirez. The child’s grandmother, Hilaria Rangel, was identified as a second suspect and arrested at a separate location in Coachella, he said.
Vanessa Rangel was booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside, while Hilaria Rangel was booked into the Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility in Banning. They were both being held on $1 million bail.
The investigation was ongoing, and anyone with information was asked to call Investigator Lopez from the Thermal station at 760-863-8990 or Investigator Alfaro with the Central Homicide Unit at 760-393-3528.