My two-year-old nephew Jesus Hernandez was beaten to death

by Brenda Hernandez
(Elkhart Indiana)

This story is for my nephew, Jesus. He is no longer able to share his story, for child abuse claimed his life. At the age of two, my nephew Jesus was such a loveable child. He was calm, quiet and in the middle of potty training.

My nephew's mom had nowhere else to go, so we told her she was more than welcome in our home, seeing as she had my nephew. His mother was struggling financially, and decided to get a job working as a waitress. Once there, she met a fellow by the name of Eric Kline. They than began a romantic relationship. She would leave to work and not come back to even check on Jesus at all. My mother then began to make police reports because of her neglect on not caring in what type of condition he was in. After one incident of being gone for almost a week, we reluctantly told her that she needed to begin taking better care of her son. She then started to take my nephew with her at night.

Slowly, we began to see his development halted. He was not progressing at all. We also began to notice he had weird scratches and bruises that were unheard of for a two-year-old. When we questioned her about these injuries, she became enraged and gathered all of her things and left. That was on June 10 2007. After a couple of days, we began to get really worried. With no way of getting hold of her, we were just plain scared for Jesus.

On July 10, we heard of a child being beaten to near death in our neighboring city of Middlebury Indiana. We all thought, "Oh my." We felt so bad for the family of this child and for this child.

A couple of days later, we got the most terrifying news you could ever receive. The boy they were all talking about was my nephew. He had passed. We had to find out through a television set, as if we too were strangers to him. We then raced to the hospital where he was taken and realized it was my nephew. Apparently, he had been beaten to death by his mom's boyfriend while he was watching him because she was at work. She had complete say so over arrangements and never even advised us about him being in the hospital sp that we could say our goodbyes. We never even knew of a service—direct cremation is what happened to him.

With deep hurt, I tell this story to make people realize that child abuse has become all too common. We need a resolution. We need to make the laws so much stricter.

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