Police: 4-year-old dead after violent abuse from her mother

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Iris Hernandez Rivas

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. — A four-year-old girl died Wednesday after she was badly injured by what police are saying was an act of child abuse committed by her mother.

Nohely Hernandez, 4, died at the Children’s National Medical Center on Feb. 1. Police say that on Jan. 26, they received a 911 call from Nohely’s mother, Iris Hernandez Rivas, 20, saying her daughter was non-responsive.

When police responded to their home in Gaithersburg, Hernandez Rivas claimed that her daughter had drowned accidentally in the bathtub after starting the shower by herself.

Fire and Rescue took Nohely to the hospital in serious condition. Detectives arrived at the hospital shortly after, and medical staff let them know that Nohely had bruises and head trauma that were consistent with physical abuse.

Investigators interviewed Hernandez Rivas again the next day. They say Hernandez Rivas changed her story at that point, telling them that she had kicked her daughter in the abdomen that night because she was angry at Nohely for not brushing her teeth.

She said Nohely fell backwards and hit her head on the living room wall, then went into the shower and turned on the bathroom faucet.

Hernandez Rivas says she went to check on her daughter and found her face-down and unresponsive in the water that had filled the bathtub.

She also told detectives that the bruises found by doctors were from her striking her daughter with a belt a few days prior.

The next day, Hernandez Rivas was arrested and charged with first-degree child abuse and assault. Nohely’s autopsy results are pending. Police have not said if Nohely’s death will result in additional charges.

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