Parents Charged in 3-Year-Old's Death Blame Skateboard Accident
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Parents Charged in 3-Year-Old’s Death Blame Skateboard Accident

A 3-year-old boy in Minnesota is said to have been beaten to death earlier this year, and two of his caregivers are now under arrest on murder charges.

Authorities said that 24-year-old Rosa Esperanza Garza and 22-year-old Shiann Lynn Erickson were arrested on Monday and charged with one count each of second-degree murder without intent in connection with the death of 12-year-old Eastyn James Deronjic.

In response to a 3-year-old child who was not breathing, police and emergency medical workers were called to an apartment complex in the 1500 block of Belsly Boulevard South in Moorhead at around 1:09 a.m. on March 18, 2024, according to a news release from the Moorhead Police Department. About 230 miles northwest of Minneapolis is where the house is located.

First responders found the severely injured child, later known as Eastyn, when they arrived, treated him for injuries and saved his life before bringing him to Sanford Hospital in an ambulance.

Unfortunately, not long after arriving at the facility, the boy passed away from his wounds and was declared dead.

According to the police, Garza and Erickson’s Moorhead house was the place where Eastyn and his younger sibling had been staying for “an extended period.” The children’s biological parents were said to be “acquaintances” of Garza and Erickson.

After Eastyn passed away, his sibling was taken from the house and given protective custody.

“The investigation has been ongoing, and autopsy results were recently received,” police stated in a Monday news release. “The Clay County Attorney’s Office issued warrants for the arrests, and both were taken into custody this morning without incident. The younger sibling remains in protective custody.”

Authorities reportedly obtained the autopsy results on June 28. It stated that the youngster was killed by blunt force damage that punctured his colon, and that this was the cause of death. Apart from the lethal strike, Eastyn was said to have sustained 28 blunt force injuries over his body.

At approximately one in the morning, a witness informed police that she went to the defendants’ home to monitor Eastyn and his brother at Garza’s request because Erickson was sick and needed to go to the hospital.

According to the witness, Eastyn looked ill and was throwing up everything he had eaten. He requested a drink of water from the witness. He started to gag and cough and then went unconscious.

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According to reports, the mother of the children told authorities that she hadn’t seen them in almost two weeks. She replied that she thought Eastyn’s bruises were from his lack of coordination when she had last seen them. A few hours before he passed away, she had spoken with the youngster last and he sounded OK but sick.

Eastyn’s facial bruises were allegedly sustained the day before he passed away, according to Garza and Erickson. They claimed he passed out, hurting his head, while vomiting over the toilet. Garza further asserted that the youngster had tumbled off his skateboard and bike that day.

According to reports, Erickson stated that although she had never witnessed Garza using violence against Eastyn, Garza had previously abused her.

On March 17, the day Eastyn died from his wounds, Erickson is said to have been fighting with Garza when he wrote: “Okay, have fun with your little b—-.” Beat her child, please.

Both Garza and Erickson are being held at the Clay County Jail without bond. On Tuesday, they are expected to appear in court for the first time.


With more than two years of expertise in news and analysis, Eileen Stewart is a seasoned reporter. Eileen is a respected voice in this field, well-known for her sharp reporting and insightful analysis. Her writing covers a wide range of subjects, from politics to culture and more.