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Sugarloaf mom, boyfriend arrested in death of 1-year-old


A San Bernardino County woman and her boyfriend were arrested on suspicion of murder after the woman’s 1-year-old son was found with severe burns to his body, according to authorities.

Samantha Garver, 33, and her boyfriend, Sergio Mena, 32, were both booked on murder charges Sunday in the death of Henry Wheatley Brown, who had just turned 1 in August.

The couple was arrested after the Big Bear Fire Department responded to a home in Sugarloaf and found the baby “suffering severe burns to his body,” the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said.

“Through extensive investigation, it was discovered Wheatley Brown had additional injuries, indicating abuse,” the department said in a news release. The boy was unresponsive and was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Garver was also booked on an open child abuse warrant, according to the department.

Garver pleaded guilty a decade ago to misdemeanor willful cruelty to a child, according to San Bernardino County Superior Court records. She failed to show up for her 100-day jail term and did not provide proof of enrollment in a yearlong child abuse treatment program, according to court records.

In 2014, due to her failure to comply with the requirements of her sentence, Garver was listed as a fugitive by the court.

The mother often posted her baby son to Facebook before his death.

“Happy birthday, Henry! Everything I do is for you!” she wrote when she started a new job with a vacation home company in August. “So, fitting I would start this job on your first birthday. I love you, little booger.”

She had also worked as a housekeeper, according to videos she posted.

Garver appeared to have other children as well and posted a photo album on Facebook called “KIDS” that showed five young people, including a baby.

Garver was having money issues shortly before the death of the child, according to her posts.

She tried to sell a stroller in August after posting pictures of the baby in it.

“Normally, I would offer this to a new mom for free, but I am in a bind and need to raise the rest of the money we need to get a room tonight and have a place to stay for one more night,” she wrote.



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