Homestead toddler dies following alleged abuse


A toddler allegedly abused by his father was taken off life support Sunday afternoon.

Jayden Morales Villegas, 2, was pronounced dead at Miami Children’s Hospital at 1:30 p.m.

“It hurts a lot; he was just my baby,” said Jayden’s mother, Vanessa Morales, after she made the decision to take him off life support. “I just told him to be strong, that we love him and his brothers love him and that I will never forget him.”

Police said Jayden’s father, Angel Villegas, 29, had been caring for the toddler and his siblings at his apartment in Homestead.

On Tuesday, police said Villegas became frustrated with Jayden, who vomited during dinner, and violently threw him on a bed, causing the child to hit his head against a wall.

According to an arrest affidavit, Villegas found his son unresponsive on the bed the next morning.

Villegas, a father of 9, was arrested and charged with attempted second-degree murder and aggravated child abuse. He will likely face more serious charges now.

Both Villegas’ and Morales’ children remain in DCF custody.

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