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Modesto Boy, 7, Hospitalized; Mother And Boyfriend Arrested On Child Abuse Charges

MODESTO (CBS13) - An injured Modesto boy is in the hospital and his mother and her boyfriend have been arrested on child abuse charges.

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David Turner (handout)

On September 13 at around 1 p.m., Modesto police responded to a medical aid call at an apartment in the 1900 block of Oakdale Road. There, police found a seven-year-old boy receiving life-saving treatment from EMTs and fire personnel, according to a Modesto Police Department statement. The boy was taken to the hospital with injuries consistent with abuse, say police.

The child's mother, Jovonna Cruz, 35, was arrested on charges of child abuse and causing great bodily injury. Her boyfriend Eyvar Rivera, 41, also from Modesto, was arrested on child abuse charges. Cruz is still in custody with $150,000 bail, but Rivera has since bailed out, according to his family.

Steve Willis was in the area as the ambulance responded to take the young boy to the hospital. He's still thinking about what he saw days later.

"It just breaks my heart," Willis said. "When you see something like that, a child just totally limp. It gets to you."

Extended family members identified the boy as seven-year-old David Turner.

"All he ever wanted in his seven years of life was to be loved," his aunt, Brandy Blackwell said.

Blackwell said she contacted police and Child Protective Services regarding her nephew in the last year, but said nothing was done. CPS told CBS13 they can't comment on any cases, per protocol. Though, the Modesto Police Department said they did perform a welfare check to the boy's home back in March.

Months later, David is now fighting for his life in the hospital.

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David Turner (credit: Brandy Blackwell)

"They cannot officially pronounce it yet, but they don't think he's going to make it," Blackwell said.

CBS13 knocked on the couple's apartment. Rivera's son answered and told our crew he had never witnessed abuse in the home.

Editor's note: It was reported earlier on Tuesday that Cruz was also charged with torture; however, Modesto police said the original charge of torture was an error.

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