Desert Hot Springs man charged in toddler’s murder

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — A Desert Hot Springs man has been arrested in San Bernardino after reportedly admitting to killing his girlfriend’s three-year-old son Saturday, Nov. 21. He was officially charged by the San Bernardino District Attorney’s Office Nov. 24.

Although the suspect, 24-year-old Santos Guerrero Rodriguez, initially told investigators the child “had fallen off a razor scooter and struck his head on the pavement”, after further investigation he admitted to “repeatedly stomping the child’s head into the ground,” according to court documents and statements from the San Bernardino Police Department and San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office.


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City of San Bernardino police detectives began investigating the toddler’s death last Saturday after the victim was brought into a local hospital with critical injuries and diagnosed with “severe head trauma,” according to the San Bernardino Police Department.

Despite life-saving efforts, the child succumbed to his injuries and passed away that day.

Santos Rodriguez, 24, of Desert Hot Springs, was arrested for murder after allegedly admitting to stomping his girlfriend’s three-year-old child’s head into the ground in San Bernardino last Saturday. SBPD photo

“The suspect, Santos Rodriguez, initially told medical personnel and investigators his girlfriend’s child had fallen off a razor scooter and struck his head on the pavement,” SBPD officials said.

“Detectives conducted an extensive investigation where Rodriguez eventually admitted to losing his temper and repeatedly stomping the child’s head into the ground,” officials continued.

The deadly incident occurred at a residence in the 500 block of West Victoria Street in San Bernardino

Three days later, the District Attorney’s Office released a statement that said in-part, “After reviewing this case, our office has charged Santos Guerrero Rodriguez … with murder and causing the death of a child.”

Rodriguez was booked into San Bernardino County’s West Valley Detention Center on suspicion of first-degree murder where he is being held without bail.

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Contact the writer:

Trevor Montgomery, 49, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, (the now defunct) Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.