FORT IRWIN – Homicide investigators determined the death of a four-year-old in October 2013 was caused by the boy’s 25-year-old step-father.
Jonathan Michael Hernandez was arrested by San Bernardino County Sheriff’s deputies earlier this month, charged in the death of Silas Torres, who died on October 9, 2013 at the Loma Linda University Medical Center.
“Due to the circumstances surrounding (Torres’) death,” said Det. Christina Kirby, “the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Detail was requested to assist with the investigation.” On Sunday, October 5, medical aid had been dispatched to the 5100 block of Rio Hondo Cove at Fort Irwin, an army base less than a one-hour’s drive from Barstow. Hernandez was stationed at the base as a specialist.
Torres was unresponsive to CPR and was taken to Weed Army Hospital on the Fort Irwin base, later taken to Loma Linda University Medical Center in critical condition. On October 9 at 12:55 p.m., the boy was pronounced deceased. Over the course of the last year, said Kirby, investigators from the Homicide Detail, working with special agents from the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command, along with pathologists from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Criminal Division, was determined to be a homicide.
The lengthy investigation concluded on September 14, 2014 as a result of the investigation of all agencies. It was submitted to the District Attorney’s office, who issued a warrant for Hernandez’s arrest on Nov. 6. Hernandez, who appeared at an arraignment on November 10, was booked into the High Desert Detention Center. A pre-preliminary hearing had been set for November 19 at the San Bernardino Superior Court in Victorville. His bail has been set at $1 million.
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