Little Jacob

‘Little Jacob’ identified: Mom, girlfriend arrested for death of little boy found dead & naked on beach

The Galveston Police Department announced Wednesday that officials identified a little boy found deceased and washed ashore on a Galveston beach last October. The boy’s mother and her girlfriend were arrested in connection with the child’s death.

According to Galveston PD and KHOU, the child was identified as Jayden Alexander Lopez, 4, of Houston. Little Jayden lived with his mother, Rebecca Rivera, 34, and his mother’s girlfriend, Dania Sarai Amezquita Gomez, 31, before his death. Authorities arrested Rivera on Tuesday. Gomez was arrested earlier this week. Both suspects are charged with tampering with and fabricating physical evidence.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, Galveston police indicated that the boy, found washed ashore on a Galveston beach on October 18, appeared to be around 3 years old. He was likely of Hispanic decent and found completely naked. He had black hair, brown eyes, and long eyelashes. A passerby spotted the child’s body at around 5:30 p.m. in a remote area by the 700 block of Seawall Blvd.

Initially, authorities released a composite sketch of the little boy, drawn by forensic artist Lois Gibson. The sketch depicted what the child likely looked like while alive. Yet, almost four months later, no one had contacted police to provide any information or tips.

In January, detectives, in an attempt to bring leads into the case, made a controversial move and released the actual crime scene photo of the boy. Hundred of tips flooded in, but two of the tips led authorities to Jayden, who was reportedly under the care of his mom and her girlfriend when he disappeared. The tipsters had personal knowledge of Jayden, but it’s still unclear how.

“The citizens helped us solve this,” Police Chief Vernon Hale, spokesperson for Galveston PD said. “This is a perfect example of how the police, the media, and the citizens came together to bring justice to Jayden.

Authorities indicated that another child was in the home when they arrived to investigate Rivera and Gomez. The child, 3, was removed and taken to the home of a “responsible party.” Although detectives stated they can’t yet release additional information regarding the case, they did say Jayden appeared to be malnourished when they found him and showed signs of neglect.

Jayden did not drown, according to authorities. How the boy died will be released after the Medical Examiner’s Office confirms his official cause of death.

The little boy’s mother never reported him missing.

Both suspects are behind bars in the Galveston jail.  Gomez’s bail is $100,00, while Rivera has a bond of $250,000. Additional charges may follow.

The story is still developing. Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.

[Feature Photo: Jayden Lopez/Galveston PD; Lois Gibson]