Grandmother, 2 men arrested in toddler's death

Posted: Updated:
Juanita Rodriguez, Jumilio Dominguez-Vazquez and Christopher Lopez By Catherine Holland Juanita Rodriguez, Jumilio Dominguez-Vazquez and Christopher Lopez By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX – Three people have been arrested in the death of a Phoenix toddler Friday night.

Police said Juanita Rodriguez called 911 after she found her 2-year-old granddaughter, Juanita Buelna, not breathing at a residence near Interstate 17 and Camelback Road. Rodriguez, 43, has legal custody of the child, but officers say she had left the girl with her boyfriend, Jumilio Dominguez-Vazquez , and a friend, Christopher Lopez, while she went out for a few hours during the afternoon.

Preliminary reports indicate that Dominguez-Vazquez and Lopez  noticed little Juanita was not breathing while she was in their care. Instead of calling emergency crews, however,  they called Rodriguez, who rushed home and called police after seeing the child was not breathing.

Emergency personnel administered CPR on the toddler before transporting her to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Phoenix police first detained Rodriguez, Dominguez-Vazquez, and Lopez for questioning. They were later arrested.  All three reportedly have admitted to abusing the little girl.

Police say the child's mother is cooperating with the investigation.

“We understand from staff at the hospital that there is some injury to this 2-year-old female,” Phoenix Sgt. Steve Martos said. “Again that will be part of our investigation and part of the investigation at the Medical Examiner’s Office to determine what those injuries are, how did that occur, and if that was the reason for this child’s death.”

The exact cause of Juanita's death has not been determined.