STOCKTON -- A Stockton man is now facing murder charges after his girlfriend's 2-year-old son died Saturday.
Investigators say the boy was abused.
Two-year-old Ares Escobedo's mother, Maria Flores, and her current boyfriend, Roberto Alcantar, barely acknowledged each other Thursday while hearing the charges against them. The pair face child endangerment charges after Ares died of suspected abuse.
On Thursday, the judge announced that Alcantar was also facing murder charges for the toddler's death. The San Joaquin County District Attorney reports the charges relate to blunt force trauma found on Ares. There is evidence Alcantar abused Ares prior to the toddler's death.
Flores' charges relate to "her failure to protect Ares," DA Tori Verber Salazar said in a statement.
"Preventable cases of this nature, especially crimes against children, are among the greatest travesty in our community," Salazar said.
The little boy's biological father's side of the family and Flores' loved ones came to court. All were too emotional to speak on camera.
A relative says Ares' father, Alfredo Escobedo, did not want to come to the hearing because he did not want to see his ex-girlfriend. Escobedo has told FOX40 his son's death has been devastating and that he shares three other kids with her.
He claimed his attempts to reconnect with his children failed because Flores never responded to his requests.
The couple is scheduled to be back in court in two weeks. Alcantar has no bail while Flores' bail is set for $600,000.