The 4-year-old child was reportedly forced to drink hand sanitizer before starving to death following months of ongoing abuse at the hands of his dad. An autopsy determined that the victim’s injuries were not self-inflicted, they were the result of physical abuse. The autopsy also concluded that the 4-year-old boy starved to death. Family member and the boy’s father reportedly refused to give the 4-year-old boy food while the boy started shaking uncontrollably, crying and begging for bread and water, prosecutors said.
The 28-year-old father from Texas, Brandon Cervera, was arrested and taken into custody on Thursday, court records say. He is now charged with injury to a child causing death following the August, 2021 death of his 4-year-old son, Benjamin.
Investigators reportedly discovered an incriminating video on a cell phone showing that the boy had intentionally and deliberately been abused at the hands of his 28-year-old dad, according to reports.
Prosecutors said the 28-year-old man reportedly brought the unconscious boy to the emergency room at the Children’s Hospital on August 17, 2021. The medical personnel called 911 and told investigators that a boy had just been taken to the Emergency Room in a potentially abusive condition.
Prosecutors also said the 4-year-old boy had many bruises in various healing states. He was also wearing a disposable diaper, according to reports. Unfortunately, the boy was pronounced dead minutes after arriving at the facility.
The boy appeared to be severely malnourished and had persistent bruising indicating physical abuse, police officials said. The boy’s father reportedly told investigators that his son’s injuries were self-inflicted. The 28-year-old man also told investigators that a family member staying at his apartment had a video proving that his sone had harmed himself.
An autopsy determined that the victim’s injuries were not self-inflicted; they were the result of physical abuse. The autopsy also concluded that the 4-year-old boy starved to death.
Officers executed a search warrant at the suspect’s apartment and discovered that the kitchen cabinets, pantry doors and refrigerator were found to be locked. The victim’s bedroom door also appeared to have been used to lock the child inside.
According to reports, a video from a relative who was staying at the apartment contained distressing videos and photos that further demonstrated abuse. In one video, the 4-year-old boy reportedly hits his own head with his hand and begging for bread’. In another video, the boy had severely bruised and swollen eyes.
In another video, the relative and the 28-year-old father reportedly refused to give the 4-year-old boy food while the boy started ‘shaking uncontrollably, crying and begging for bread and water’.
Prosecutors said that in another video, the 4-year-old boy was reportedly forced to drink hand sanitizer as well and in another, they recorded the 4-year-old boy pleading for water while saying his mouth was burned, according to reports.
The 28-year-old dad is being held on $500,000 bond, court records say. This incident remains under investigation. This is a developing story and it will be updated as new information become available.