GALVESTON COUNTY, Texas — The mother of a 4-year-old boy who was found dead on a Galveston beach more than three years ago has been sentenced to life in prison.
Rebecca Suzanna Rivera was convicted of injury to a child by omission causing serious bodily injury after a seven-day trial that ended Thursday.
The child, who is known publicly as Little Jacob, was found on East Beach in October 2017. After six months of investigating, authorities were able to identify the body as that of Jayden Alexander Lopez.
Rivera and her girlfriend, Dania Amezquita Gomez, brought the boy's body to Galveston after he died in Houston. They dumped his body in the water off the beach that it was found on a day later.
Little Jacob's body showed signs of torture, "including scarring from being beaten with hangers, cigarette burns all over his back, ligature marks on his wrists and ankles, and numerous blunt force trauma injuries," according to Galveston County's Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Erin Barnhart. He was also emaciated. His cause of death could not be determined.
Rivera admitted that she would hit the boy with anything she could find when she got frustrated with her girlfriend. Gomez is also charged with injury to a child and testified against Rivera as part of her plea deal.
Rivera will be eligible for parole after serving 30 years in prison.