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16-year-old charged with murder of 4-year-old girl in Evansville

Teen charged with murder of 4-year-old girl

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — A teen has been preliminarily charged with the murder of a 4-year-old girl in Evansville.

Police on Friday arrested Christian Gonzalez, 16, in connection to the death of his girlfriend’s daughter. The child’s mother, Destiny Rhoades, 23, is also facing charges: contributing to the delinquency of a minor; neglect resulting in death; and invasion of privacy.

An autopsy of the girl, Octavia Aquino, found multiple bruises and bite marks. She died over the weekend.

Police say their roommates saw the injuries and on Thursday brought the child to Rhoades’ work, and she didn’t seek medical care.

Evansville Fire Department medics were called Friday morning to an apartment, located southwest of the intersection of Lynch Road and North Green River Road, where the girl was found unresponsive. The caller had said the girl was “beyond help.”

Officer Taylor Merriss of Evansville Police Department said, “There were times where she could have taken the child to the hospital. She didn’t want to. And a lot of that, I , has to do with the fact that she had a 16-year-old boyfriend in her home that was a missing person out of Fort Wayne for the second time.”

Gonzalez will be tried as an adult. His initial hearing has been set for Friday in Vanderburgh Superior Court 3, online court records show.

Rhoades’ initial court hearing was set for Thursday morning in the same court.

Much of this story is from a script aired on WISH-TV.