A 36-year-old Richland, Washington, man is being held on manslaughter charges in connection with the death of his girlfriend’s 9-month-old daughter. The fact that the man was caught in California, apparently trying to make a run to Mexico, has led to claims that he is an illegal immigrant.
Jennifer Reedy awoke Friday morning to find Serenity Jade Reedy, her 9-month-old daughter, dead in her crib. A medical examination revealed that she had suffered severe head trauma and had cuts and other injuries in her vaginal area.
According to Jennifer Reedy’s statement, her boyfriend, Jose Luis Aguilar, had been living with her for about a month. On Thursday night, Reedy left Aguilar with Serenity so that she could do laundry and get some shopping done. When she came home at 9:00, Serenity appeared to be sleeping peacefully, so she went to bed. Aguilar was in the bed with her until at least midnight.
When Reedy woke at 3 a.m., Aguilar was gone and he didn’t return to her bed that night. When Reedy finally got out of bed, she discovered both her car and her cash were missing. She reached Aguilar by phone, and he told her he was already in Oregon and was on his way to California.
Only later did Reedy check on Serenity, since Serenity normally slept late into the morning. Serenity was blue, cold, and still.
Police caught up with Aguilar on a Greyhound bus in Barstow, California. Their best guess was that he was heading for Mexico. It’s the run to Mexico that may explain why several blog sites have claimed Aguilar is an illegal alien. In fact, the original Tri-City Herald news report on which they all rely makes no mention of Aguilar’s immigration status.
Aguilar contends that Serenity fell off a couch, but showed no sign of injury. He then gave her a bottle and put her to bed. He left the house only because he was upset with Reedy, not because he’d done anything wrong. Medical examination revealed that Serenity had at least two separate skull fractions consistent with major head trauma.