Father pleads not guilty to murder in death of his 7-week-old daughter

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Jaime Santillanes, 37, was arrested a few days after San Diego police and firefighters found his daughter with serious injuries at the family’s townhome on La Jolla Village Drive. The baby later died.


A man pleaded not guilty this week to murder in connection with the death of his 7-week-old daughter, who was found with serious internal injuries at the family’s home on La Jolla Village Drive earlier this month and later died at a hospital, authorities said.

Jaime Javier Santillanes, 37, was arrested March 23 in Clairemont, two days after Genevieve Santillanes died at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego.

Jaime Santillanes pleaded not guilty March 27 in San Diego County Superior Court to charges of murder and child abuse. He could face 25 years to life in prison if convicted, the county district attorney’s office said.

Santillanes remained jailed without bail March 29. A hearing has been set for Monday, April 10, to ask a judge to consider setting bail.

Santillanes’ attorney declined to comment.

San Diego police responded shortly after 10 p.m. March 18 to a report of an infant who was not breathing at a townhome on La Jolla Village Drive near Lebon Drive east of Interstate 5, police Lt. Steve Shebloski said in a statement.

Police and firefighters contacted Santillanes and Genevieve’s 36-year-old mother at the home, Shebloski said. The baby was taken to a hospital for emergency treatment.

Detectives learned Genevieve had suffered “serious traumatic internal injuries indicative of physical child abuse,” Shebloski said. The Police Department’s Child Abuse Unit opened an investigation to determine who was taking care of her and how she was injured.

Genevieve died at the hospital March 21, police said. Police interviewed witnesses, gathered evidence and worked with medical personnel to try to determine what happened to her. The department Homicide Unit took over the investigation because of the severity of her injuries.

Police asked that anyone with information about the case call the Homicide Unit at (619) 531-2293 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.

— San Diego Union-Tribune staff writer David Hernandez contributed to this report.


5:10 p.m. March 30, 2023: This article was updated with Genevieve Santillanes’ name.