Mother faces charges in toddler's drowning

The 22-year-old mother of a toddler who drowned last week in a backyard pool is facing charges of felony child neglect, Las Vegas police said Tuesday.

Investigators determined that Mary Jane Lopez was responsible for 2-year-old Geno Valerio and his two infant siblings on May 2.

Lopez last saw the boy alive in the afternoon. His grandmother found him floating in the backyard pool about 7 p.m., according to police.

Police think that while the mother was home, the toddler gained access to the pool through an open sliding glass door.

The mother was arrested on one count of felony child neglect with substantial bodily harm for the boy's death.

She is facing two additional counts of felony child neglect for the two infants who were home when the incident occurred.

She is being held at the Clark County Detention Center without bail. Her other two children have been placed in protective custody.

Lopez was investigated by authorities last year on allegations of failing to provide medical care for the boy.

Clark County Child Protective Services substantiated the allegations, and the case was closed after medical case management program staff worked with the family.

Contact reporter Lawrence Mower at or 702-383-0440.


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