A Mesa toddler who was killed in late March and abandoned in a shallow grave near a canal died from homicidal violence, including blunt head trauma, an autopsy report reveals.
Isaiah Vargas, 3, was covered in red marks and bruises when his small body dressed in a Spider Man T-shirt and black sweatpants was taken to Maricopa County’s Forensic Science Center in early April.
The report, released last week, shows the boy had scrapes on his eyelid and chin, brain swelling and broken blood vessels and other injuries on his back, chest and legs. His body was found wrapped in a blanket and white plastic bag.
Heather Nicole Miller, 22, who was the live-in girlfriend of Isaiah’s father, has been charged with first-degree murder and child abuse in boy’s death.
Police have said Miller initially told them the boy was kidnapped when he went missing, but later admitted to killing him. According to court records, she tried to cover up the crime by burying the boy near Stapley Drive and McKellips Road to avoid “getting in trouble.”
Miller’s next court appearance is scheduled for July 9 in Maricopa County Superior Court, where the state and defense will update the judge on the progress of the case.
According to court documents filed by the state, prosecutors are going to seek an enhancement of Miller’s sentence if she is convicted. They allege that the crime involve the infliction of serious physical injury, was committed in an especially heinous, cruel or depraved manner, caused emotional harm to Vargas’ immediate family and was committed against a helpless victim.
In a related court proceeding, Maria Guadalupe Robinson, Isaiah’s maternal grandmother, is scheduled to be sentenced July 24, for an aggravated assault charge she admitted to committing against Miller on Nov. 10 during an argument over Isaiah.