4-Year-Old Bit and Killed by Mom’s Teen Boyfriend

Evansville, Indiana – A 23-year-old mother and her 16-year-old boyfriend have been apprehended and charged with the murder of the woman’s 4-year-old daughter. This shocking case has left authorities stunned and the community in disbelief.

Destiny F. Rhoades and Christian T. Gonzalez are now facing serious felony charges for the death of young Octavia Aquino. Rhoades has been charged with neglect of a dependent resulting in death, while Gonzalez is facing a murder charge. The Evansville Police Department has described this case as “very disturbing,” leaving many wondering how such a tragic event unfolded.

According to a news release from the Evansville Police Department, officers responded to an emergency call on June 14 at a residence on Spring Valley Road. The call was made by one of the three adult females living with Rhoades, Gonzalez, and Octavia. The caller reported that the child was unresponsive and beyond help.

Upon arriving at the scene, first responders found Octavia cold to the touch. The Evansville Fire Department attempted to revive her, and she was rushed to a local hospital. Sadly, despite their efforts, Octavia had very little brain activity.

During the investigation, it was revealed that Rhoades was at work when her daughter was found unresponsive. She stated that she had left early in the morning, while Octavia was still sleeping. Rhoades and the three other females residing at the apartment were taken in for questioning. Due to his age, Gonzalez was not interviewed at that time.

Authorities discovered troubling details during the investigation. A roommate reported bruises on Octavia’s body, specifically around her neck, as well as a human bite mark on her forearm. Detectives were told that Gonzalez admitted to biting the young girl, claiming it was in response to her biting him first. Additionally, Octavia’s roommate mentioned that the child had appeared nauseous and distant while under Rhoades’ care. It is distressing to learn that none of these incidents were reported to law enforcement or medical professionals at the time they occurred.

The release from the police mentioned Gonzalez as Rhoades’ boyfriend, emphasizing that they had come to Evansville together earlier this year when Gonzalez was just 15 years old. This is not their first encounter with authorities, as Gonzalez had gone missing from his home in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He was located in Evansville in February and placed in a youth home, but he promptly fled. When he was eventually found again, he was with Rhoades at her residence.

Rhoades was initially arrested for contributing to the delinquency of a minor and released on bail. After her release, she returned to Fort Wayne until her court date in April. Unfortunately, during that period, her 16-year-old boyfriend went missing once again.

Both Rhoades and Gonzalez are now being held without bond at the Vanderburgh County Confinement Center.

Authorities are grappling to comprehend the tragedy, while the community mourns the loss of an innocent life. The investigation remains ongoing, and further details may be revealed as the case progresses.