G1, a news outlet out of Brazil, is reporting that professional MMA fighter Joel Rodrigo Avalo Santos has been arrested in connection with the beating death of his one year old son. Jessica Leite Ribeiro, who is the child’s stepmother, has also been arrested in connection with the one year old’s death.
Police reports are stating that the fatal blows that lead to the death of the child was caused by a blow to the back, which resulted in broken ribs and a lacerated liver. Medical personnel noticed the injuries to the child when they were called to the house while the child was choking.
Outside of the previously reported harm to the child, medics also noticed previous signs of harm to the baby.
Police chief Marcelo Damaceno issued the following statement saying the couple has denied any wrongdoing in connection with their child’s death:
“The father and the stepmother spent the night here in the police station and will remain arrested for the crime of mistreatment, which is qualified by the baby’s death. In their testimony, they denied it and claimed the child died of natural causes. However, an autopsy showed clear signs of aggression.”
Santos and Ribeiro have already appeared in court, with the judge stating that both shall be detained indefinitely as the investigation continues. Santos holds a 12-4-0 record as a professional MMA fighter, last competing in May of this year.