Murrieta Police DepartmentMurrieta Police Department

2 Town Square
Murrieta, CA 92562
(951) 304-2677


8/16/2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PRESS RELEASE: 1708M-3251
 
Subject :

Two Arrested for Child Abuse
Contact :Lieutenant Tony Conrad    951-461-6309
tconrad@murrietaca.gov
 
 
 

On 8/15/17 at 10:07 a.m. members of Murrieta Fire and Rescue and the Murrieta Police Department responded to a 911 call at 24001 Verdun Lane reference a juvenile in medical distress.  The call was formatted by dispatch as a juvenile medical aid and officers and fire personnel were on scene within minutes.  Upon arrival, MPD and MFR located a five year old male juvenile with severe injuries.  His condition required immediate medical attention and he was transported via ambulance to a local hospital.  Officers on scene determined the incident was an apparent case of child abuse and the Murrieta Police Department Detective Bureau was notified and called out to the scene.

 

Detectives assumed the investigation and the biological father and his live in girlfriend were interviewed and a search warrant was drafted for the home.  Based upon information gathered during the interviews and evidence located in the home, it was determined the biological father, identified as Benjamin Whitten and his live in girlfriend, Jeryn Johnson were responsible for the dire condition of the child.  Mr. Whitten and Ms. Johnson were placed under arrest for child abuse causing great bodily injury.  They were booked into the Cois Byrd Detention Center last night at 8:12 p.m..

 

A search warrant at the home revealed the living conditions were extremely unsanitary.  11 dogs, four cats and two fish were taken from the location by Animal Control.

 

Due to the severity of the child’s medical condition, he was ultimately airlifted to a hospital in San Diego County.  Detectives were in contact with the medical staff in San Diego County throughout the night.  Unfortunately, at that time the child was listed in grave condition. 

 

The Riverside County District Attorney’s Office was contacted by detectives due to the severity of the injuries sustained by the juvenile.  The Riverside County District Attorney’s Office responded to the scene and worked with the detectives throughout the night.  The investigation continues today and updates will be provided as the investigation progresses.  

 

As of 12:00 p.m. today (8/16/17) the child remains in grave condition and a charge of torture is being added to both Mr. Whitten and Ms. Johnson.

 

Any information and/or questions regarding this case, please contact Detective Sergeant Spencer Parker at 951-461-6364.  Anyone with information reference this case that has not already been contacted by Murrieta PD is encouraged to contact Sergeant Parker.

 

Arrestees:

 

Benjamin Whitten (33 years) Resident of Murrieta

Charges: 273A(A) PC – Willful Harm to a Child; 12022.7(B) PC – Infliction of Great Bodily Injury; 206 PC- Torture

Booking Number: 201731480

 

Jeryn Johnson (25 years) Resident of Murrieta

Charges: 273A(A) PC – Willful Harm to a Child; 12022.7(B) PC – Infliction of Great Bodily Injury; 206 PC- Torture

Booking Number: 201731524

 

Murrieta File Number: 1708M-3251






###