SACRAMENTO—The boyfriend of a Sacramento mother was arrested on Saturday, May 30, for the murder of her six-year-old daughter.
Detectives booked Juan Rivera, 25, on charges of murder. He is being held at Sacramento County Main Jail without bail and is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday.
Sacramento County Sheriff’s deputies confirmed over the weekend that they had found the body of Jadianna Larsen, 6, at approximately 10:20 am on Thursday in a rural area near Artois in Glenn County, about 90 miles northwest of Sacramento.
A fire crew had responded to a brush fire in the rural location about a mile and a half off I-5, when they made the grisly discovery of a charred suitcase with Larsen’s small body inside. They notified the Glenn County Sheriff’s office while extinguishing the fire along County Road D, a third of a mile south of Road 33, which burned undergrowth near a grove of cottonwood trees between two orchards.
The violent death of Larsen has saddened and angered many. Candles, balloons and teddy bears were placed at the Martin Luther King Jr. Village apartments on 47th Avenue in south Sacramento where the child and her mother, Tanecia Clark, 30, lived.
A neon sign which read “Jadianna – Sorry you could not be helped by a system that should protected you” reflected much bitterness over the tragedy. A public candlelight vigil was held Sunday evening at 8:00 pm at McClatchy Park in Oak Park.
Sheriff’s Department Spokesperson Sgt. Lisa Bowman said Clark was away undergoing psychological medical treatment when her daughter disappeared. She had left Jadianna in the care of Rivera, her live-in boyfriend, who is a registered drug offender. Bowman also said Rivera does have a fingerprint number and FBI number which indicates he has been arrested or convicted of a felony offense.
Investigators are trying to determine where the child was killed. The location of the crime will determine which agency would have overall jurisdiction.
Rivera told investigators that he last saw Jadianna at 11 a.m. Thursday in their apartment. He said he was stricken with a bout of seizures that lasted more than nine hours and that after they subsided, both he and his mother searched for Jadianna for 30 minutes before calling 911.
Sgt. Bowman said Rivera’s booking photograph is not being released at this time due to the need for immediate follow up investigation.
Update 6/16 – The Glenn County Sheriff’s Office released the results of the autopsy performed on Jadianna Larsen, revealing the cause of death to be blunt force trauma to her head, helping to confirm the charges that her death was a homicide rather than an accident. They stated the blow resulted in an acute bilateral subdural hematoma causing craniocerebral injuries.
Read More: Sacramento Bee – Grief follows slaying of Jadianna Larsen; family identifies mom