Barstow parents charged with murder, torture and assault in death of infant son


A mother and father from Barstow were arraigned Thursday on felony charges, including murder, in connection with the death of their 1-year-old son.

Ricardo Mendez, 27, and Antanita Miller, 24, were each charged with one count of torture and assault on a child causing death in addition to the murder count, court records show.

A felony complaint, provided to The Times by the San Bernardino County district attorney’s office Thursday, did not state how long the abuse occurred but did reveal the baby boy’s name — Jamari, who was born March 5, 2021.


The document did not contain details about the abuse or any other information about the investigation besides the charges.

A district attorney’s office representative said she could not confirm whether the parents had been reported to child services because the case is still under investigation.

The baby boy was declared dead at a Pomona hospital, authorities said. He suffered “injuries consistent with ongoing abuse.”

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Mendez and Miller drove to Pomona with their son on Monday and arrived unexpectedly at Mendez’s relatives’ home around 7 p.m., according to a statement Tuesday by the Barstow Police Department.

By that time, Jamari was unresponsive and relatives immediately took the baby boy to Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center, police said.

Pomona police were called to the hospital around 7:55 p.m. after Jamari was declared dead, Barstow police said.

Detectives saw that the boy suffered “injuries consistent with ongoing abuse,” including lesions, bruising and burn marks on his body, police said.


After further investigation, detectives concluded that the abuse probably occurred at the parents’ home and that Jamari died of his injuries in Barstow before his parents drove him to Pomona, police said.

Officers were sent to the hospital and to the family’s home in the 700 block of East Virginia Way in Barstow, police said. Detectives interviewed witnesses at the hospital and contacted the baby’s parents.

Mendez and Miller stayed at the home, but eventually Miller left for the hospital, where she was detained, police said. Mendez also left the home and was detained by Pomona officers in the 2100 block of Spencer Street.

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Barstow authorities served search warrants at the couple’s residence and on their vehicle, police said.

“During the service of the search warrants, the detectives located items of evidence believed to have been used during the assault on the victim,” police said.

Court records did not list attorneys for Mendez or Miller.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact Barstow Police Det. Matthew Helms at (760) 255-5132 or at


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