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Toms River Couple Charged with Newborn’s Death

The Toms River parents of a baby girl who died before reaching two months of age in 2013 are now accused of causing her death.

Michael Rojas, 37, and Giovanna Rojas, 32, are being arraigned in Ocean County Superior Court today on charges of aggravated manslaughter and endangering the welfare of a child, according to information from Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato.

According to details disclosed in the investigation, the baby, identified as J.R., was born July 17. At about 8:30 PM on August 27, the couple brought her to Community Medical Center, where she was determined to not breathing.

After immediate lifesaving measures, the infant was rushed to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, where she died just before 2 AM on August 28.

About an hour later, workers at Community Medical Center in Toms River who considered the infant’s death suspicious called township police.

Results of the post morten examination at Community Medical Center pinpointed the cause of death as exsanguination – bleeding out – and compression trauma of the chest and abdomen. The manner of death was determined to be homicide.

Coronato ordered a review of the baby’s health history, the medical examiner’s findings and related investigative documents before filing charges this past Friday.

Both defendants are being held in the Ocean County Jail. Bail was set at $250,000 for Michael Rojas and $200,000 for Giovanna Rojas.

Investigators are urging anyone with information that can help shed light on the incident to call Detective Brian Haggerty of the Ocean County Major Crimes Unit, 732-506-5046; or Toms River Police Detective Alex Scherer, 732-349-0150, extension 1220.

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