Megan Lange and Rodolfo Reyes: Texas parents who starved and strangled son, 8, to death may face death penalty

Megan Lange and Rodolfo Reyes were charged with one count each of capital murder to a person under the age of 10

Megan Lange and Rodolfo Reyes: Texas parents who starved and strangled son, 8, to death may face death penalty
Megan Lange ans Rodolfo Reyes are in custody (Ector County Sheriff’s Office)
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If you or anyone you know suspects child abuse, you are urged to immediately call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to www.childhelp.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential and the hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

ECTOR COUNTY, TEXAS: A man and his wife who starved and killed their 8-year-old son may face the death penalty in Texas. According to the court records, Megan Lange, 29 and Rodolfo Reyes, 33 were detained this week and charged with one count each of capital murder to a person under the age of 10 and one count each of injury to a child for the child’s strangulation death. The victim’s name was Arturo Francisco Coca as per The Odessa American.

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On November 5, Odessa Police Department officers and personnel with Odessa Fire and Rescue responded to a 911 call regarding an unresponsive child at a place situated in the 2000 block of North Huntington Avenue, KWES-TV reported. Medics were already performing life-saving procedures on Arturo by the time police arrived on the scene. The child reportedly suffered “suspicious injuries” all over his body which included gashes on his head, back, and legs. He also appeared to be underfed and small for his age, The Odessa American reported.

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The child was immediately rushed to Medical Center Hospital by ambulance. However, he was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at the facility. Detectives then opened up an investigation based on the boy’s fatal injuries.

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Lange reportedly claimed during an interview with investigators that Arturo accidentally excreted and urinated on himself. 

She said that she took him to the bathroom and cleaned him up and then alleged that the two of them went into the living room. Lange reportedly claimed that her son was talking to her while in the living room when he suddenly fell backwards and injured his head, causing him to stop breathing. She professed to have called the emergency services at that time. 

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The six other children who lived in the home told the authorities that Arturo's stepfather Reyes was reportedly present in the house when he was fatally wounded. Although Reyes admitted that he was in the house during the incident in a voluntary statement, he claimed that he was not the cause of those injuries. He then requested for legal counsel and refused to say anything more. 

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Lange reportedly said that her son suffered from diabetes and that caused his death, but medical professionals disagreed. Doctors found that the little boy had hemorrhaging throughout his neck and was severely malnourished during an autopsy. A forensic pathologist concluded the child’s manner of death was a homicide after examining his body and the cause of death was “asphyxiation by manual strangulation” with neglect/malnourishment as a contributing cause of death.

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Arrest warrants were issued by a county judge on Thursday, November 17, and the duo were taken into custody by the deputies on Monday, November 21. The grandmother of at least one of her children had previously called Child Protective Services in Lange, according to court filings from 2016, but CPS “have closed their cases and not removed” the child or children from her care.

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