Update: Mother of Newborn Baby Abandoned in Wooded Area Arrested and Charged

Pic of Leticia Guzman

Leticia Guzman

Detectives from the Special Investigations Division have arrested Leticia Guzman, age 25, of the 1500 block of Korth Place in Silver Spring, after determining that Guzman gave birth and abandoned her female newborn in a wooded area of Tenbrook Drive in Silver Spring. Guzman has been charged via a criminal warrant with child neglect and reckless endangerment.

On August 17, detectives received information from a local hospital that a female had come to the hospital who showed physical signs of recently giving birth, although the female denied to medical personnel of having been pregnant.

Detectives responded to the hospital and identified the female as Guzman. A search warrant was executed at her residence and evidence of childbirth was recovered.

Investigators interviewed Guzman at the hospital. During the interview, Guzman acknowledged that she had given birth to the baby and had left the baby at a location that she said she could not recall. Guzman provided additional information inconsistent with evidence recovered by investigators.

Today, Guzman was released from the hospital and transported to the Central Processing Unit (CPU) in Rockville. Bond information is unavailable at this time.

The baby girl remains in stable condition and is currently under the care and custody of the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services – Child Welfare Services Program.



Silver Spring In-Home Child Care Provider Charged with Abuse

Special Victims Investigations Division (SVID) detectives have arrested and charged Christina Dhanaraj, age 65, of the 1600 block of Winding Waye Lane, for abusing a two-year-old girl enrolled in child care that Dhanaraj provided in her Silver Spring home.

On January 12, detectives received and reviewed a video documenting an adult female, identified as Dhanaraj, abusing the child.  The video begins with the victim sitting quietly in a room inside Dhanaraj’s home on Winding Waye Lane.  Dhanaraj approaches the victim and verbally scolds her.  She then delivers approximately eight open-hand slaps to the child’s face; the child loudly cries.  Dhanaraj then pushes the child to the floor, grabs the victim by the head, and pushes the victim with a jerking motion. The force moved the victim out of a seated position.  Investigators believe that this incident occurred during November or December of 2017.

Dhanaraj was arrested on January 12 and was charged with second-degree child abuse.  During a police interview, Dhanaraj made admissions of committing the abuse captured on the video.  Dhanaraj was transported to the Central Processing Unit and has been released on bond.

Detectives worked with the Maryland Office of Child Care (OCC) to revoke Dhanaraj’s child care provider license.

Dhanaraj provided child care in her home for approximately ten years and investigators are concerned that there may be additional victims of Dhanaraj’s abuse.  Anyone with information about possible abuse is asked to call the Special Victims Investigations Division at 240-773-5400.

Please note: The video of the abuse will not be released to the public/media at this time as this is an ongoing investigation.


Christina Dhanaraj









Mother Charged with Child Abuse of Four-Year-Old Daughter

Iris Hernandez Rivas

Updated on February 3: On Wednesday, February 1, Nohely Alexandra Martinez Hernandez, age 4, succumbed to her injuries at Children’s National Medical Center.  The final results of an autopsy, performed by the District of Columbia’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, are pending. 

Detectives from the Montgomery County Police Department – Major Crimes Division have arrested and charged Iris Hernandez Rivas, age 20, of the 400 block of Sunny Brook Terrace in Gaithersburg, with child abuse of her four-year-old daughter.

On Thursday, January 26 at approximately 12:28 p.m., the Emergency Communications Center (ECC) received a 911 call from Hernandez Rivas who requested medical assistance for her unresponsive four-year-old daughter.  Sixth District officers, officers from the Gaithersburg City Police Department, and Fire and Rescue personnel responded to the apartment.

Hernandez Rivas told responding officers that her daughter, now identified as Nohely Alexandra Martinez Hernandez,  had entered the bathroom at approximately 11:15 a.m. and started the shower.  After approximately 15 to 20 minutes had passed, Hernandez Rivas heard a noise from the bathroom which prompted her to check on her child.  When Hernandez Rivas entered the bathroom, she stated that she observed her daughter face down in the bathtub.  Hernandez Rivas said she waited approximately one hour before calling 9-1-1.

Fire and Rescue personnel transported Nohely Alexandra Martinez Hernandez  to Adventist Healthcare Shady Grove Medical Center in Rockville in serious condition.  Major Crimes detectives responded to the hospital where medical staff informed them that the victim had multiple bruises on her body and was suffering from head trauma that may have been from the result of physical abuse.  Nohely Alexandra Martinez Hernandez was flown by helicopter to Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., where she succumbed to her injuries on Wednesday, February 1.

On January 27, investigators from the Major Crimes Division spoke with Hernandez Rivas.  She stated that at approximately 10:30 a.m. on the previous morning, she had kicked the victim in the abdomen after becoming angry at the victim for not brushing her teeth.  Hernandez Rivas stated that as a result of being kicked, the victim fell backwards and struck her head on the living room wall.  Hernandez Rivas reported that her daughter fell to the ground and appeared lethargic.  The daughter then went to the bathroom and turned on the shower. Hernandez Rivas said that she went to check on the victim and found her face down in the bath tub.  Hernandez Rivas also told detectives that the bruises on multiple areas of the victim’s body were due to Hernandez Rivas striking her daughter with a belt several days prior.

Hernandez Rivas was arrested on January 28 and charged with one count of first-degree child abuse and one count of first-degree assault. Hernandez Rivas is currently being held without bond.


Father Charged with Child Abuse Resulting in Son’s Death

Detectives from the Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD) – Major Crimes Division have arrested and charged Roger Lee Miller Jr., age 20, of the 11500 block of February Circle in White Oak, with two counts of child abuse related to the death of his 5-month old son, Darrell Lee Barnes.

On October 28, 2016 at approximately 8:08 a.m., the Emergency Communications Center received a call from Roger Miller. He reported that his son was gasping for air and then became unresponsive.  Miller also reported that the child was bleeding from the nose and was vomiting. Fire and Rescue personnel responded to the child’s mother’s home located in the 1500 block of Heather Hollow Circle in White Oak and transported the child to Holy Cross Hospital. There, doctors discovered that the child had sustained trauma to his head. The baby was then transported to Children’s National Medical Center in the District of Columbia for further treatment. MCPD investigators were notified and responded to the hospital.

On October 30, 2016, Barnes succumbed to his injuries at Children’s National Medical Center.  The final results of an autopsy, performed by the District of Colombia’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, are pending.  Medical personnel found that Barnes’ injuries which led to his death were not sustained accidentally.

During the investigation, detectives spoke with the infant’s mother.  She stated that on October 28 at approximately 6:20 a.m., she left the child, healthy and alert, in Miller’s care. Miller was the only person with Barnes during the time he sustained his injuries.

On January 8, 2017, investigators obtained a warrant for Miller’s arrest, charging him with first-degree child abuse resulting in death and first-degree child abuse resulting in severe physical injury.  Miller was arrested yesterday (January 9) and transported to the Central Processing Unit.  He was held without bond and will have bond review today at 1:00 p.m. in Rockville District Court.

Roger Lee Miller, Jr.

Roger Lee Miller, Jr.