The body of a 2-year-old little girl was found in a duffel bag being carried into Mexico by a California couple. Officials believe the couple was attempting to hide a homicide.
Mercy Mary Becerra, 43 and Johnny Lewis Hartley attempted to cross the San Ysidro border crossing from San Diego, California, into Tijuana, Mexico. After clearing the U.S. side of the crossing, the couple was stopped by Mexican customs agents who discovered the child’s remains in a duffel bag, according to a CW6 San Diego news report.
The child’s body was discovered when Mexican customs agents put the duffel bag through an X-ray machine. As agents approached the couple, Becerra ran away to avoid arrest. Both Becerra and Hartley were taken into custody.
Hartley was reportedly carrying the bag containing the child’s body.
Sometime later, Mexican authorities turned the couple over to the San Diego Police Department who then took over the investigation.
Few details about the 2-year-old little girl’s death have been released at this time, but police investigators have charged the couple with suspicion of murder and child cruelty leading to death, CW6 reported.
The San Diego news outlet reported that San Diego Police Lieutenant Ray Valentin stated the couple are not the parents of the dead little girl and are working to identify the remains and the child’s parents.
No cause of death has been revealed by police at this time. Officials also did not disclose the nature of any possible bodily injury to the child.
The little girl was believed to have been killed in the southern part of Los Angeles County. The couple is still being held in San Diego and charges are expected to be prosecuted there. No bond has been set for the couple who are being held in jail pending an arraignment to be held on Friday.
An autopsy is scheduled for the child to determine the cause of her death.