WARSAW, Mo. -- A man living in Cole Camp is accused of hitting his girlfriend’s toddler daughter in the stomach and causing her death. Rafael Alejo, 27, was charged late Wednesday afternoon with second-degree murder and child abuse. The 2-year-old girl who died was Mia Aguilar.
According to the probable cause statement used as the basis of the charges, the girl’s mother, Sanjuanita Aguilar (Mendoza), took the girl to the hospital in Sedalia at 1:45 a.m. Sunday. She said her daughter had been vomiting, “then started breathing shallow and rapidly. . . eyes were rolling in the back of her head.” She told medical personnel that the girl had no history of seizures.
At the hospital, according to medical records cited in the probable cause statement, Mia stopped breathing and had no pulse. Physicians and nurses did CPR. They sent the girl to a children’s hospital in Kansas City at 5:15 a.m. Sunday, but she died on Tuesday morning.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol detective says an autopsy attributes the death to “child physical abuse-blunt force trauma to the abdomen.”
Investigators talked to a case worker for the state Children’s Division who checked on the well-being of a son of Sanjuanita Aguilar on Sunday afternoon at a home in Sedalia. That son told the case worker that Alejo hit Mia in her stomach. The boy also said Alejo “hits his mom.”
Mia's family lives at 10664 Moriarity in Cole Camp. Also living in that house, besides Mia’s mother and Alejo, are Mial’s grandmother, her grandmother’s boyfriend, and two men.
The detective wrote that Alejo “is believed to be an illegal alien and his identification is not known.” He said Alejo also goes by these names: Rafael Rodriguez, Rafael Alejo Rodriguez, Saul Alejo, and Saul Rodriguez.
Alejo was in the Benton County jail on Wednesday afternoon but hadn’t appeared before a judge to have a bond set. If he's convicted of these charges, he could get a prison sentence of 10 to 30 years (life).