Gaithersburg Mom, 20, Faces Child Abuse Charges

Iris Hernandez Rivas

A 20-year-old Gaithersburg mother was charged Saturday with child abuse of her 4-year-old daughter, Montgomery County police said Monday.

Iris Hernandez Rivas, 20, of the 400 block of Sunny Brook Terrace, Gaithersburg, is being held without bail, police said. The child was flown to Children’s National Medical Center in the District where she died Feb. 1, a police news release said.

Police and county Fire and Rescue Service personnel responded to the Hernandez Rivas apartment after she called the county’s Emergency Communications Center about 12:28 p.m. Thursday, police said.

The mother told officers that her daughter had entered the bathroom at about 11:15 a.m. and started the shower. After 15 to 20 minutes had passed, Hernandez Rivas heard a noise from the bathroom which prompted her to check on her child, police said. When Hernandez Rivas entered the bathroom, she said she found her daughter face down in the bathtub, police said.

Hernandez Rivas said she waited about one hour before calling 911, police said.

The child first was taken to Adventist Healthcare Shady Grove Medical Center in Rockville in serious condition, police said. Detectives went to the hospital where medical staff told them that the victim had several bruises on her body and was suffering from head trauma that could have come from physical abuse, police said. The child was then taken to Children’s National Medical Center.

When investigators spoke with Hernandez Rivas on Friday, she said that at about 10:30 a.m. on the previous morning, she had kicked the child in the abdomen after becoming angry when the child didn’t brush her teeth, police said. Because of being kicked, the child fell backwards and struck her head on the living room wall, police said. The mother said her daughter fell to the ground and appeared lethargic, police said.

The daughter then went to the bathroom and turned on the shower; when Hernandez Rivas checked on her, she found her face down in the bathtub, police said. Hernandez Rivas also told detectives that the bruises on multiple areas of the victim’s body were because of Hernandez Rivas striking her daughter with a belt several days before, police said.

Hernandez Rivas was arrested Saturday and she faces one count of first-degree child abuse and one count of first-degree assault.

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Douglas Tallman

About Douglas Tallman

Reporter with 35 years experience throughout Maryland. Reach me at or via Twitter at @MCM-Doug


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