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Parents Charged in Death of Month-Old Ocean County Girl

Prosecutors: baby died of exsanguination and compression trauma of the chest

Giovanna Rojas (Photo: Ocean County Jail)
Giovanna Rojas (Photo: Ocean County Jail)
A mother and father are facing charges of aggravated manslaughter and endangering the welfare of a child in connection with the death of their one month-old baby girl last summer, authorities announced Tuesday.

Giovanna Rojas, 32, and Michael Rojas, 37, took their baby girl – identified only as J.R. – to Community Medical Center in Toms River on Aug. 27, 2013, just after 8:30 p.m., and hospital staff determined she was not breathing, according to prosecutor's office spokesman Al Della Fave. Hospital staff tried to revive the baby, who was born July 17, 2013, and transferred her to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, but she died at approximately 1:52 a.m. the next morning.

Della Fave said an autopsy performed later that day showed the Toms River baby's death was determined to be exsanguination and compression trauma of the chest and abdomen, and the manner of death was determined to be homicide.

Before formal criminal charges were filed Feb. 14, Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato ordered an extensive review of the case, the scope of which included the child’s medical history and all related documents, the medical examiner’s findings and conclusions and all information and interviews gathered by the investigators during the course of the investigation, Della Fave said.

Giovanna Rojas is being held in the Ocean County Jail in default of bail that was set at $200,000 cash only by the Superior Court Judge Francis R. Hodgson, Jr. Michael Rojas is being held in the Ocean County Jail in default of bail that was set at $250,000 cash by Hodgson.

Both defendants are scheduled to be formally arraigned in Superior Court in Toms River at 1:30 pm Tuesday, Della Fave said.

Any person with information relevant to the investigation is being asked to contact Detective Brian Haggerty of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit at 732-506-5046 or Detective Alex Scherer of the Toms River Police Department at 732-349-0150 Ext 1220.
Kathy Rowan Carroll February 18, 2014 at 03:39 PM
The whole thing is very sad - those kids were dragged up like animals - they lived in filth and acted like filth even as young kids. It doesn't surprise me that something this tragic happened. People don't change, they usually get worse. Very sad but I do want them to pay dearly for this. I can't even imagine. Prayers for the baby.
. February 18, 2014 at 03:50 PM
Don't know either one of them, nor would I care to. Anyone that could kill their own child just doesn't deserve to live. There is no excuse to kill one month old baby.
Melissa Lynn February 18, 2014 at 05:03 PM
This is so sickening. I could have told you 30 years ago this girl was never going to be a productive part of society. Renee really cracks me up! I feel sorry for you, Renee, that you are associated with this girl. I hope she rots in prison like the scum she is. I hope Brick Patch keeps us up to date on the developments of this tragic case.
WMS826 February 18, 2014 at 07:43 PM
We have a crazy law in place that even allows you to leave a child at a police station, hospital and other responsible public places with no questions asked if you wish to give the child up. I always thought this law and others were wrong to begin with and that we should just have personal responsibility, PERIOD. This begins way before these people even have sex. It starts at home with holding parents accountable during their childhood, schools being able to discipline more effectively, and castrating the mentally ill and criminally insane.
Concerned February 18, 2014 at 08:07 PM
The people's champ u did not mention lowlife but a person prior to you did n that's what I was speaking about n u in turn decided it was appropriate to call me a lowlife! Naturally I'm going to defend myself for many reasons. I'm very well educated as well live a nice life. I'm not in any way defending the mother of this baby girl but I am n will continue to defend the family as a whole. So again before u call someone like myself a lowlife, take a look in the mirror n do a self assessment!
Concerned February 18, 2014 at 08:09 PM
Melissa I am not defending this girl at all! However the Rojas family I am defending! I know the entire family extremely well n they are not scum, trash or lowlifes
none of yobusiness February 18, 2014 at 10:26 PM
It takes a very special kind of scumbag to hurt a child. I have been around some very sick and extremely dangerous criminals in my life including some murderers. Almost all of them despise anyone who harms a child. The only ones who dont are true sociopaths. Sociopaths are made not born that way. They are products of their environments. Usually causde by extreme physical and emotional abuse most humans couldn't even imagine. So im siding with Kathy and Tim. These are scumbags. Rest well these degenerates will be dealt with properly by both inmates and staff when finally sentenced.
Donnie Brasco February 18, 2014 at 10:28 PM
How can anyone defend these two people is crazy. A poor child was killed in the hands of the parents. By the photos they look like addicts...now they will be in jail with the other low life POS, difference is, even in prison there is a code and Fing and killing kids is not respected. So hopefully they both get dealt with swiftly.
Noella Luciotti February 19, 2014 at 01:30 AM
Are people seriously sitting here arguing over who's a scumbag when some assholes killed a infant? Show some respect. I feel bad for baby, and bad for any family members that had to go through this. Hope the parents get the punishment they deserve.
Raymond Keene February 19, 2014 at 01:45 AM
this is heartbreaking, and inexcusable... those two will be judged TWICE for this sin... r.I.p little baby
Raymond Keene February 19, 2014 at 01:56 AM
Renee, since "YOU DO KNOW ALL THE FACTS" without reading or watching the news.. why don't you "DO" that little baby a favor.. there is a phone # in the article, for information that could help the investigation
John Cobb February 19, 2014 at 05:12 AM
It's a shame we can't sterilize some people early on in life so that they can't reproduce. It may sound inhuman, at first, but will probably spare us a lot of problems later. I'm reading conflicting reports about this Rojas clan, were they low lifes? Is Giovanna a low life? What's Rojas nationality?
The Captain February 19, 2014 at 07:05 AM
Funny how people freak out over killing an innocent baby but so many seem to have absolutely no problem killing one before it leaves the womb. Think about that for a moment. And so so many people use it as birth control or to rid themselves of the inconvenience. Just sayin.
sandy bottom February 19, 2014 at 07:52 AM
different
Nicholas Cage the II February 19, 2014 at 08:13 AM
John Cobb is a idiot ! What nationality are the Rojas ? Really , smh . Nationality is completely irrelevant to the death of a child . IGNORANT .
WMS826 February 19, 2014 at 08:42 AM
Rene...what facts could justify this action. You must be as horrible as they are to even try to justify this. What kind of screen name is Niggalas as posted above, what nationality are you and why are you so sensitive to that question. People sure seem to use their nationality when the want free schooling, demand jobs based on the democrats affirmative action plan, and use it in law suits when the suck as an employee and get fired.
Concerned local February 19, 2014 at 08:49 AM
...about offenders who should be castrated? :mentally ill, criminally insane, sex offenders, child molesters and those who harm innocent and DEFENSELESS infants/children??? - we don't allow the death penalty, can't brand their forehead for their crimes (so we know who to avoid), can't rehabilitate the child molesters (known fact) - WHY IN THE WORLD WOULD YOU LEGALLY ALLOW THESE SICKOS THE ABILITY TO HAVE OR CAUSE A PREGNANCY AND GIVE BIRTH TO (PRIVILEGE) AN INNOCENT AND DEFENSELESS NEBORN????
Nicholas Cage the II February 19, 2014 at 09:01 AM
@Wms826 I'd answer your question but I'm afraid I'd be wasting my breath due to fact that your a complete f***ing FOOL . I've followed some of your comments in the past . SMH !
John Cobb February 19, 2014 at 09:38 AM
Niggalas, you troll, my question as to Rojas nationality is more pertinent than you might expect. The jealousy factor plays a major role in the behavior of certain cultures. If for instance Mr Rojas had reason to believe he was not the baby's father, this could trigger such a brutal outcome. So knowing if Mr Rojas is a recent immigrant to our shores or not, may be a clue to what happened. As you say, I've seen your comments in the past and you are a fool.
Eric Thomas February 19, 2014 at 09:42 AM
Probably two of the scumbags who live in the welfare motels along Rt. 37 or in Seaside.
Amy February 19, 2014 at 10:00 AM
I think I went to MS with him…didn't know him, thank goodness, but glad to hear they are behind bars since he's a registered sex offender as well..keep these POS away from my family(and yours)
Nicholas Cage the II February 19, 2014 at 11:13 AM
So @ Cobb lol let me wrap this around my head . Being a recent immigrant makes it a clue to what happened . BAHAHA . Like a detective would ever use that as evidence . Wow . You seem stupider with every comment you write ! For the sake of not exposing your ignorance level , please don't post on this subject again .
Nicholas Cage the II February 19, 2014 at 11:18 AM
Talk about speculation @Cobb "he killed the baby because he found out it wasn't his " you know what happens when you assume right ??? You make a ass out of yourself : )
John Cobb February 19, 2014 at 11:27 AM
Niggalas, wipe the foam off your mouth boy, I'm only stating possible scenarios.
Nicholas Cage the II February 19, 2014 at 11:38 AM
Well Cobb your possible scenerious based on ones culture is offensive to one who might know better. Oh and you call it trolling but I see it as calling someone out when they say something stupid .
WMS826 February 19, 2014 at 03:01 PM
Niggalas cage quit being a coward and hiding behind an anonymous internet name. You have exposed yourself as a racists and a hater, we do not need your brand of hate and anger on here.
Nicholas Cage the II February 20, 2014 at 04:05 AM
Wms826 are you delusional ? isn't that the pot calling the kettle black ? You have the most racist comments out of anybody on here. Just yesterday on a herion thread you stated " that's what you get for allowing blacks to complain about racial profiling " or something to that effect . ( foolish comment) THEIRS NOT A RACIST BONE IN MY BODY YOU BIGGOT . My grandparents on one side were Native American and Mexican , My other grandparents white and Asian mix , I married a black lady and my brother in law is Jewish : )
WMS826 February 20, 2014 at 03:04 PM
So then how do they feel about your name on here or maybe you did not tell them. Many of you seem to try and justify things by at least claiming things like you have ...I am married to this kind of person, I know this kind of person how can I possibly be a racist yet I see in print the name you chose.
John Cobb February 20, 2014 at 03:24 PM
Everyone is a racist at times, it can't be helped.
Nicholas Cage the II February 20, 2014 at 03:25 PM
My wife calls me her Nigga or NIGGALAS all the time : ) it's 2014 and its used as a term of endearment .

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