- Associated Press - Thursday, March 6, 2014

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Siblings of a 3-year-old boy who lived at a Tucson home where skeletal remains were found in a backyard toy chest told investigators their mother starved him to death, court documents say.

Police said the remains discovered Tuesday are believed to be those of the boy, Roman Barreras.

Roman’s mother - Raquel Barreras, 39 - has been arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder and child abuse. Martin Barreras, the boy’s 45-year-old father, also was booked into jail Tuesday on suspicion of child abuse.

In an interim complaint filed by police with Pima County Justice Court, the children of Raquel Barreras say she starved Roman, the Arizona Daily Star reported Thursday (https://bit.ly/1dxltrO ). The complaint also states that Martin Barreras knew his wife was abusing the boy and confronted her, “but did nothing further to stop her from starving (the) child,” the newspaper said.

Police were awaiting autopsy results to tell them when and how the child died.

The couple has four other children ranging in age from 4 to 19. The three youngest children who are minors have been turned over Child Protective Services, authorities said.

The remains were found by a landlord who was cleaning the home as the family was in the process of moving out, police said.

It was unclear whether Raquel and Martin Barreras have a lawyer who could be reached for comment. The couple doesn’t have a listed phone number.


Information from: Arizona Daily Star, https://www.azstarnet.com

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