Mother charged with child abuse after toddler's death

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah (News4Utah) – A West Valley City mother faces child abuse charges after her toddler’s death and the arrest of her boyfriend.

Gena Nicole Sanchez, 22, was charged with two counts of child abuse following the death of her 21-month-old son Jaycieion Sanchez.

Jaycieion died one January 16 after police responded and found the child unresponsive and unconscious. The boy was later pronounced dead at the hospital. Doctors noted that Jaycieion had likely been dead for some time before emergency crews had arrived.

On January 17, Gena’s 17-year-old boyfriend was arrested and charged with child abuse homicide. A probable cause statement indicates the boyfriend had been living Gena and her three kids for the last month.

He would watch Jaycieion and his two older siblings while Gena was away at work. Officers who responded saw multiple visible injuries on the child “were not consistent with statements given by the babysitter regarding the circumstances of the child’s death.”

Prosecutors filed a motion last week to charge the teenager as an adult.

Doctors examined one of the other children in the home and found injuries “consistent with inflicted trauma” and “not consistent with accidental injury or reasonable discipline.”

According to investigators, Gena admitted to seeing marks and bruises on the children in the days leading up to the toddler’s death. Charging documents state Gena admitted to seeing her boyfriend spank Jaycieion at least once and on one occasion she saw him kick the toddler in the back.

Probable cause documents indicate the boyfriend also admitted to spanking the children with wire hangers, throwing the children and causing other injuries. 

If you suspect child abuse or neglect contact the DCFS 24/7 hotline: 855-323-3127. For more information, visit

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