Mother arrested after body of boy who washed ashore in Texas is identified

DALLAS — Texas authorities have identified the body of a child found washed ashore in South Texas last year, and accused his mother and her girlfriend of dumping his body.

Galveston police on Wednesday identified the body as 4-year-old Jayden Alexander Lopez. His body was found eight months ago, and authorities named the child “Little Jacob.”

Police also announced his mother, Rebecca Rivera, and her girlfriend Dania Amezquita-Gomez have been arrested. Police say both are charged with fabricating or tampering with physical evidence. Investigators say they’re trying to determine whether the mother was connected to her son’s death.

Investigators made the unusual move of releasing a photo of the face of the dead boy earlier this year, hoping it would generate new leads about his identity. The department had previously released a sketch of the child with a phone number to call with tips.

Police on Wednesday said tips led to a possible name for the boy and a DNA comparison led to the positive identification.

Bryan Gaines, a supervisory senior resident agent with the FBI, called the crime “appalling” at a press conference Wednesday announcing the arrests.

“No one reported Jayden as missing. No one was looking for Jayden. Jayden had no advocate other than us,” he said. “Someone took a beautiful, innocent child and discarded him in the ocean as if he was a piece of trash.”

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