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Tuesday, Aug 04, 2015

Mom, boyfriend arrested following child's death; other child abused

Highlands Today staff

WAUCHULA - A Wauchula mother and her boyfriend are in jail on child neglect charges and a murder investigation is underway in a related case.

Kaycha Lynn Rivera, 22, and her boyfriend, Hector Jaimes, 24, who lived at the residence, were arrested and charged.

The incident began on Nov. 5 when Joel Jordan Chavez, 15 months, was taken to Florida Hospital Wauchula and pronounced dead by the emergency room doctor. An autopsy showed numerous head injuries to Chavez's body and the case was listed as a homicide.

The Wauchula Police Department, in conjunction with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, launched an investigation into the death of the young boy, according to a press release.

Interviews were conducted at the child's residence located at 310 W Townsend St. Wauchula, which was determined to be the location of the crime scene.

Also residing at the residence were five other juveniles and four adults. All of the remaining juveniles were taken into custody by the Department of Children and Families at which point they began an investigation into the welfare of the children. Through that investigation medical exams were conducted, which revealed a second child, a 2-year-old male, was also the victim of abuse. After the exam of the second child, injuries were discovered that were consistent with similar injuries sustained by Chavez.

Rivera is being held at the Hardee County Sheriff's Office Jail on a $50,000 bond. Jaimes is being held at the same location with a $200,000 bond. Jaimes currently has an outstanding warrant for his arrest from the state of Texas for a felony violation of probation charge.

Charges related to Joel Chavez's death are pending as the criminal investigation continues. Anyone with information in reference to the death of Joel Jordan Chavez can contact Lt. Matthew Whatley at (863)773-3265, ext. 207.