SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON)– A San Jose mother who was arrested and charged with homicide following the death of one of her two 8-month-old twins, was attempting to breast feed the infant at the time. Celina Juarez, 29 of San Jose, was arrested by San Jose PD Wednesday, Nov. 16, according to a press release from SJPD. The arrest marked the 33rd homicide to take place in the city in 2022.
Court documents identified the twins as Melani Doe, deceased, and Zari Doe.
On November 4th, 2022, at approximately 3:16 p.m., San Jose Police responded to the 1400 block of Hurlingham Way for a call of unconscious 8-month-old infant twins. One of the children had stopped breathing and when officers arrived, they immediately began CPR on the infant, police said.
Medics arrived as well and took over lifesaving measures. Both infants were transported to local hospitals, according to police. On Nov. 5, one of the twins was pronounced deceased at the hospital while in intensive care.
KRON On is streaming live news now
Homicide detectives and members of the Santa Clara County Severe Child Injury and Death (SCID) team began an investigation into this incident. Juarez, mother of the twins, was caring for both infants at the time of the incident. During the beginning stages of the investigation, she suffered from an unknown medical emergency and was subsequently transported to a local hospital where she remained until Nov. 16 according to police.
On Nov. 16, an arrest warrant was issued for the Juarez charging her with homicide and she was taken into custody in San José by the Metro Unit and booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail.
In court documents attained by KRON4, it was revealed that the suspect told investigating officers she was trying to breast feed her infants, which she had not done for a while. The suspect said she picked up Melani and pushed her very hard against her right breast “not allowing her to come up for air.” The suspect told detectives she wanted Melani to “latch on” to her breast to drink breast milk and that she became “frustrated” when she did not.
According to the documents, the suspect felt Melani gasping for air and saw her legs kicking as she kept pushing her against her body. The suspect said she believes she held Melani against her breast forcefully for another 10 minutes and upon seeing that she was not breathing, continued to press Melani’s mouth against her breast for another two minutes before removing her and placing her unconscious body on the bed.
The suspect then said she picked up the other infant, Zari Doe and pushed her onto her left breast. She said she pushed Zari hard against her breast which caused her to gasp for air. She continued pressing without letting her come up for air. The suspect said when she realized Zari had stopped breathing she placed her on the bed. The suspect said she waited approximately 20 minutes before walking into the living room and asking her mother for help. According to the court docs, the suspect and her mother attempted chest compressions and CPR.
When her brother, who had been out, returned home, they informed him that the twins were not breathing, and he called 911.