At about 4:30 pm Wednesday afternoon, the Turlock Police Department was dispatched to a reported juvenile abuse at Emanuel Medical Center, 825 Delbon Avenue, Turlock, after hospital staff had called to report that an infant had died as a result of suspected abuse.
When officers arrived on scene, they met with hospital staff who told them that Joseph Anthony Rendon, 23, of Turlock, had brought in his two-month old daughter after she had unexplainably stopped breathing at his home. Although hospital staff performed life saving measures on the victim, she was ultimately not able to be revived and was pronounced deceased.
Initially, no one was able to find a cause of death, however, an autopsy was performed the following day by the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office’s Coroner Division. The autopsy was witnessed by Turlock Police detectives and it revealed that the infant had sustained serious injuries which pointed to severe abuse.
Within hours, detectives authored and served search warrants for Rendon’s residence and vehicle, and Rendon voluntarily went to the Turlock Police Department to be interviewed.
After the interview, Rendon was arrested and booked into the Stanislaus County Public Safety Center on charges of murder and causing unjustifiable phyiscal pain, injury, or mental suffering to a child.
“This is devastating and difficult to understand why this happened,” said Turlock Police Chief Jason Hedden. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the child’s family during this difficult time. These cases have an emotional impact on our officers and everyone involved in these types of investigations. We can only pray that the arrest of Joseph Rendon brings some sense of healing to the family and community,” he continued.
The investigation remains on-going. Anyone with information that could assist in the investigation is encouraged to call Detective Brandon Bertram at 209-664-7323.