Toddler dies after being found unresponsive at southwest Phoenix home


A man is accused of severely abusing a 20-month-old child who later died from her injuries.

Luis Alvin Medina, 36, faces charges of first-degree murder and child abuse.

On Sunday, Feb. 9, Phoenix police responded to a home near 83rd Avenue and Lower Buckeye Road to check on the occupants. The Tolleson Fire Department had notified Phoenix police of suspicious activity after initially responding to the home for a 20-month-old girl who had the flu and needed medical attention.

The girl was taken to the hospital for possible child abuse, court documents state. She was then taken into surgery due to severe internal bleeding around her brain. Officers also learned of other bodily injuries that were life-threatening.

The child’s mother told police she lived at the home with her two children and boyfriend, Luis Medina. On Sunday, the mother left her children at home with Mr. Medina. Throughout the day Mr. Medina reportedly told the mother that the children were okay.

However, when she returned around 6 p.m., the mother found the 20-month-old girl unresponsive.

Police spoke with Mr. Medina, who didn’t say anything about the injuries to the girl. He admitted to spanking the child in the past but claimed he didn’t have much of a relationship with the children.

The mother had recalled taking the girl to an urgent care a week before Sunday's incident after the child had fallen off a bed. She had noticed bruising on the child but didn’t know how the injuries occurred.

On Monday, Feb. 10, police responded to the home for an attempted suicide. They learned Mr. Medina had tried to kill himself. He was taken to a hospital for treatment. He also allegedly made statements about wanting to stop hurting his family.

On Tuesday, Feb. 11, the 20-month-old girl was pronounced dead at the hospital. A nurse practitioner noted numerous internal injuries consistent with abusive trauma.

Mr. Medina was released from the hospital that day and was arrested in connection with the child's death. He was jailed in lieu of a $500,000 cash-only bond. He is due in court Feb. 20 and 24.