Two arrested as child killed in Chowchilla believed to be victim of abuse, police say

Cornell Jackson, 39
Cornell Jackson, 39

Two suspects have been arrested in Chowchilla in connection with the killing of a child, the Chowchilla Police Department reported Tuesday.

The incident Monday evening was reported originally as a drowning, police said in a statement, but the "major injuries" the child suffered led investigators to believe the child was a victim of abuse.

Around 9:52 p.m., 39-year-old Cornell Jackson called emergency medical services and said he was on his way to the hospital with a drowning victim, police said. After emergency responders asked his location, police believe "he stopped his vehicle, left the unresponsive child along with two other minors at a gas station in the City of Madera and left the area."

Jackson was later arrested on suspicion of felony torture, felony murder, felony assault of a child causing death and misdemeanor possession of methamphetamine. Monica Meza, Jackson's 35-year-old girlfriend, was arrested on suspicion of felony child endangerment.

Chowchilla Homicide 2.jpg
Monica Meza, 35 Chowchilla Police Department

Both were booked into the Madera County Department of Corrections.

The other child in the home was turned over to the Madera County Child Protective Services, police said.

Anyone with information regarding this case can contact the Chowchilla Police Department at .

“This is a tragic loss of an innocent child’s life," Chief Dave Riviere said in a statement. "No one should have to endure the pain this poor child did.”

Monica Velez:209-385-2486, @monicavelez21