Giovanni Pena Romero, a 3-month-old baby boy, fought valiantly to hold on to his life for two full days last week after he was rushed to the hospital with what doctors diagnosed as "abusive head trauma." The injury was the result of an adult violently shaking the infant boy, who had been born only in March of this year.
But on Saturday, little Giovanni could not hang on any longer, passing away from injuries sustained in the shaking attack. The cause of death was ruled to be abusive head trauma, the current term for what was formerly known as shaken baby syndrome.
And to make the family's agony even worse, the baby's 24-year-old dad, Elias Romero, is now charged with his infant son's murder, according to a report in Rhode Island's Providence Journal newspaper.
Cranston Police say 24-year-old Elias Romero killed a 3 month old baby. Will be arraigned tomorrow on murder charge pic.twitter.com/bInW3Dg1Hi
— Steph Machado (@StephMachado) July 11, 2016
The Romero family resides in Cranston, Rhode Island. The baby was treated and put on life support at Hasbro Children's Hospital in Providence.
A report by Rhode Island TV station WPRI said that police are certain that the little boy was violently shaken by his own dad — now they are just trying to figure out why.
"He shook the baby, and it caused the injury," Cranston Police Captain Karen Guilbeault told WPRI. "The apartment was extremely hot, and I would suspect that would have something to do with the child crying. However, the bottom line is the father — the caretaker of the child — should've just walked away and taken a deep breath."
Police said that Elias Romero was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the July 7 shaking attack on his baby boy.
Watch the following video news report from WPRI-TV for further details on the heartbreaking death of Giovanni Pena Romero.
Elias Romero was watching over his infant son as well as his older child, Elias Romero Jr., a toddler, last Thursday afternoon, while his wife, who is the mother of the two children, was at work.
But according to an account given by the deceased baby's grandfather, after seeing that Giovanni became unresponsive after the shaking attack, the dad failed to dial the 911 emergency number, instead phoning his own mother and then calling his wife at work.
"He wasn't responsible. A father shouldn't do that to his son," the boy's devastated grandfather Eddy Pena, the father of the little Giovanni's mother, said in an interview. "He never called 911 like he's supposed to do."
Cranston police confirmed to TV Station WJAR that a 911 call did come in regarding the unresponsive baby, but the call came from the infant's mother, not from the dad who is accused of killing the baby by shaking.
"He should be charged with everything as an example for every father who abuses their son that's what I think, that's what I hope," Pena said after the charges against his son-in-law were elevated from child abuse to murder.
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Pena said that the dad had behaved irresponsibly with his children in the past, but the Department of Children, Youth and Families said that its had never been in contact with the family.
The mom of Giovanni Romero is simply "trying to survive" the tragedy, her father said. She retains custody of Elias Jr., who is 2-years-old.
Elias Romero Sr. is now being held without bail pending his next court date on July 25. The family has created a GoFundMe page to aid with funeral expenses for Giovanni Pena Romero.
[Images via Giovanni Funeral Expenses GoFundMe Page/Cranston Police Department]