Police: Mother admitted to kicking 4-year-old in stomach for not brushing teeth; leading to girl's death

GAITHERSBURG, Maryland -- A 20-year-old Maryland mother is charged in connection with the death of her four-year-old daughter.

According to the Montgomery County Police Department, four-year-old Nohely Martinez Hernandez passed away on February 1st at the hospital. Autopsy results are pending.

Meanwhile, the girl's mother, 20-year-old Iris Hernandez Rivas has been arrested and charged with child abuse and assault.

According to police, on January 26th, around 12:30 p.m., a 911 call came in from Hernandez Rivas -- requesting medical assistance for her unresponsive four-year-old daughter.

When first responders arrived at the apartment, police said Hernandez Rivas told responding officers that her daughter had entered the bathroom at approximately 11:15 a.m. and started the shower.  After approximately 15 to 20 minutes had passed, Hernandez Rivas heard a noise from the bathroom, which prompted her to check on her child.

When Hernandez Rivas entered the bathroom, she stated that she observed her daughter face down in the bathtub.

Hernandez Rivas said she waited approximately one hour before calling 911.

The child was taken to the hospital in serious condition.

Major Crimes detectives responded to the hospital, where they learned the girl had multiple bruises on her body and was suffering from head trauma that may have been from the result of physical abuse.

The four-year-old girl was flown to Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. where she died on February 1st.


The day after the incident, Hernandez Rivas was interviewed by Major Crimes detectives.

According to police, she stated that at approximately 10:30 a.m. on January 26th, she kicked her daughter in the abdomen after becoming angry at her for not brushing her teeth.  Hernandez Rivas stated that as a result of being kicked, the girl fell backwards and struck her head on the living room wall.

Hernandez Rivas reported that her daughter fell to the ground and appeared lethargic.

The girl then went to the bathroom and turned on the shower. Hernandez Rivas said that she went to check on her daughter and found her face down in the bath tub. Hernandez Rivas also told detectives that the bruises on multiple areas of the victim’s body were due to Hernandez Rivas striking her daughter with a belt several days prior.

Hernandez Rivas was arrested on January 28th and charged with one count of first degree child abuse and one count of first degree assault.

She's being held without bond.