Aunt arrested in homicide of 4-year-old in Porterville, police say

Police say Santa Cristina Pablo, 20, intentionally suffocated the child

PORTERVILLE, Calif. - The Porterville Police Department has ruled the death of a 4-year-old in Porterville as a homicide and the suspect is being booked into Tulare County Jail.

Officers got the call a child was not breathing around 6:40 a.m. When they got there, they found the child unresponsive. After medical personnel tried CPR, the child was pronounced dead at the scene about 20 to 30 minutes after officers arrived, the Police Department said.

The child didn't live in the home, she was visiting from Lindsay, California with family.

Family members who were inside the home are being interviewed -- as well as family and friends who showed up here after the incident.

Police arrested Santa Cristina Pablo, 20, on suspicion of murder. Police believe she intentionally suffocated the child.

Pablo is the child's aunt, police said. She was booked into Tulare County Jail.

Police said the most important thing in these cases is bringing closure to the family.

"We're taking our time on this investigation and making sure we look at everything at the residence and the interviews are extremely in-depth so we can completely understand what occurred here today," police Capt. Jake Castellow said.

There were no other children in the home when this happened.

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