MIAMI (CBSMiami) – An 18-year-old mother has been arrested for child abuse and neglect five days after the death of her three-year old son.
Selena Perez-Perez faced a judge Wednesday after her son was brought into the hospital Friday bruised and bitten.
"You've recently been arrested for one count of child neglect no great bodily harm and one count of child abuse," said the Judge.
Police say they were called out to Homestead Hospital Friday after her three-year-old son was brought in with signs of abuse.
An arrest affidavit shows he "suffered multiple bruises to his elbow, back and legs." Also the affidavit reads that the boy had, "a human bite mark to his left upper back."
Investigators also noted the toddlers "teeth were found to be severely rotten."
Three days later, the toddler died.
Police say Perez-Perez, "admitted to striking [her baby] in the back with a belt."
Neighbors are shocked by the allegations against Perez-Perez.
"I think that the mother has no heart because I have babies and--you know what--man that's not right, that's not right," said Joe Morales a neighbor.
Perez-Perez, according to neighbors, moved to South Florida from Guatemala to give her son a better life.
"She works very hard since she get here what I know is work, work, work," said neighbor Beatriz Reyes.
Some say they find it hard to believe Perez-Perez would be accused of hurting her child.
"They have to find out what happened really," said Reyes.
It is unclear exactly what injuries led to the toddler's death. Perez-Perez's defense attorney indicated that his client is not responsible.
"There's nothing in the nature of those allegations that would lead one to have suspected to believe that the situation at present is as a result of what's alleged here," said Perez-Perez's defense attorney.
Perez-Perez is facing child abuse and neglect charges but it's possible more serious charges will be added if the medical examiner's office finds the baby's injuries were his cause of death.
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