Local News

Tuesday, Sep 24 2013 05:30 PM

Caregiver pleads not guilty to murder, torture charges in death of toddler

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    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Wendy Gomez was arraigned Sept. 24 in connection with a child's death.

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A 2-year-old found dead inside a vehicle Friday night had suffered a severe head injury and been assaulted several times over the past few months, according to court documents.

The child's caregiver, Wendy Guadalupe Gomez, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges of second-degree murder, torture and willful cruelty to a child. Kern County Superior Court Judge Colette M. Humphrey ordered Gomez held on $1.5 million bail and scheduled a preliminary hearing for Oct. 4.

Bakersfield police identified the child as Karla Isidro in reports that became available Tuesday. The girl had been in the custody of Gomez for three months, and all her injuries occurred during that time, according to the reports.

Police have not addressed the relationship between Gomez and Karla.

The reports say the infant's head injury caused swelling and symptoms such as vomiting and loss of balance. The reports don't detail the other abuse she suffered other than some of her injuries were consistent with being violently shaken.

Police responded to the 3300 block of Chester Lane at 11:09 p.m. Friday to a report of a child who didn't appear to be breathing. They found the infant had suffered "obvious trauma to her lower extremities."

An autopsy was performed Monday, but the cause and manner of death could not be determined. Further studies are pending.

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