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Chowchilla Police make 2 arrests in child murder

A Chowchilla man, 39-year-old Cornell Jackson, has been arrested on suspicion of beating to death a 12-year-old child.

Jackson also faces other, related charges.

Chowchilla police, Madera police and the Madera County Sheriff’s Department all participated in the investigation and arrest, according to Chowchilla Police Chief David Riviere.

Aside from the murder, Jackson is suspected of felony torture, felony assault of a child causing death, and possession of methamphetamine, a misdemeanor.

A second suspect, Jackson’s girlfriend, 35-year-old Monica Meza, was contacted and later arrested on suspicion of felony child endangerment.

The case came to light around 9:52 p.m. March 12, when the Chowchilla Police Department was contacted by the Madera Police Department regarding the investigation of a possible drowning that may have occurred in the City of Chowchilla earlier in the evening.

Investigators from the Chowchilla Police Department and Madera County Sheriff’s Office worked through the night and determined that the child did not drown as reported. The dead child was the victim of abuse. The child had sustained major injuries, which led investigators to believe that the child was a victim of a homicide and not an accidental drowning.

The suspect in the case was reported to have called emergency medical services and advised them that he was on his way to the hospital with a drowning victim. When he was advised to give a location so that an ambulance could meet him to render aid, it is believed he stopped his vehicle, left the unresponsive child along with two other minors at a gas station in the City of Madera and then drove away.

Jackson, was later located and both Jackson and Meza were later booked into the Madera County Department of Corrections for the charges listed.

Another child in their home was turned over to the Madera County Child Protective Services.

If anyone has information regarding this case they are urged to contact Chowchilla Police Department, 665-8600, and speak to Sgt. Denny.

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

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