Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office--Court Beat, Update of April 13, 1998

Child starved to death, mom and boyfriend convicted

A 20-year-old Huntington Park mother of three has been convicted of first-degree murder and her 24-year-old boyfriend of second-degree murder for the starving death of her 3-year-old son two years ago. Deputy District Attorney Dinko Bozanich said Edith Agundez Arce was about 16 when she gave birth to Jose Cervantes after coming to the United States from Mexico. She met Rene Gildardo Urbano, he said, and they began to live together, having children on their own. Police were summoned to their apartment by a 911 call in August 1996, where they found the victim near death. The child was hospitalized, but died a short time later. Bozanich said the couple told the police that the child may have taken non-prescription pain reliever and cold medicines, showing officers empty bottles. Further investigation and the child's condition revealed that the child had starved to death, he said. Both are to be sentenced on June 3, with Arce facing a 25-to-life sentence and Urbano, a 15-year-to-life prison term.

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