HAMPTON, Iowa — A Hampton man was charged with first-degree murder Sunday in connection with the August 2020 death of a 2-year-old toddler in his care.
Jhonny Junior Salvatore Suarez Rivera, 25, of 777 S. Eighth St. S.W., Hampton, was charged with first-degree murder and child endangerment resulting in death.
According to a statement issued by the Hampton Police Department, the 23-month-old boy died Aug. 1, 2020, at the Franklin General Hospital. An autopsy determined the cause of death was multiple blunt force injuries.
Rivera admitted that he was the boy’s caretaker for the year preceding and he was watching the child on the day of his death.
Rivera was “unable to provide any explanation” of the victim’s injuries “other than possibly choking on a piece of chicken and throwing a tantrum,” according to court records.
Rivera is held in the Franklin County Jail.
The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation assisted the Hampton Police Department in the investigation.