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Celina Juarez: Mom accused of killing 8-month-old daughter by smothering her with breasts pleads for help

Celina Juarez, 29, also tried to suffocate the other twin, Zari, as the girls 'kicked' and 'gasped for air'
UPDATED NOV 26, 2022
Celina Juarez is charged with murdering her eight-month-old twin daughter, Melani (San Jose Police Department, GoFundMe)
Celina Juarez is charged with murdering her eight-month-old twin daughter, Melani (San Jose Police Department, GoFundMe)

SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA: The family of a California woman who is accused of killing her eight-month-old twin daughter by smothering her with her breast is pleading for money and assistance from the public. The young and overburdened mother of three claims that she acted in a weak moment and doesn't deserve to go to prison. In San Jose, 29-year-old Celina Juarez is being held for murdering her baby daughter Melani.

On November 4, she pressed Melani's face into her skin and kept her down for 10 minutes as she “kicked” and “gasped for air,” becoming upset that the infant wouldn't latch on to nurse. Police claim that the mother killed her daughter on purpose because she was starving after going without food all day, reported Daily Mail. The mother, however, is a kind and committed woman, according to the family, who was overburdened and overworked while attempting to take care of a toddler and twin infants. Asserting that Celina needs "help not jail," Artemio, Celina's husband, is currently raising money for her defense on GoFundMe. “Those who know her, know this is not in her character. She has devoted her entire life to children and her life revolves around our children and our family. There are two sides to every story and we need all the help we can get to give Celina the chance to say hers! This judgment is not right she is a victim here too,” he said. The family's fundraising goal is $10,000 and $3,800 was donated when this article was published. 


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Melani was allegedly placed on a bed in the residence by the young mother after allegedly forcing her against her breast and ignoring her while she “gasped for air” and kicked her legs. Then, the young mother of three tried to do the same when picking up the other twin, Zari. She attempted to suffocate them both and then waited for 20 minutes before calling her mother who came rushing over. After giving the children CPR, the mother turned to Celina's brother who then dialed 911. The two infants were subsequently brought to the hospital where Melani was later declared dead. Celina has been charged with murder and is being detained in jail. It is unknown if Celina has a lawyer and when her next court appearance will be.

Her friends have hurried to stand up for her, crafting character appeals to the judge. “We love her and we know the truth, and we wish everyone can be more aware about mental health and that nobody is immune, she is going through a tragedy and she deserves freedom and mental health services, not incarcerating her for an accident,” Jesus Carbajal told as per Daily Mail. “This is a mother who needs help, not to be vilified,” said Crystal Conroy, another friend. “As parents, all you want to do is take care of your kids, and be able to feed and comfort them. A single baby alone can be overwhelming when these challenges occur. I simply cannot imagine how difficult it is with 2 babies going through this at the same time.”