Maria Espinoza-Perez | Homicide Watch Chicago news about Maria Espinoza-Perezen-usWed, 21 May 2014 14:10:14 -0500Prosecutors: Maria Espinoza-Perez beat 3-year-old daughter Ashley Mendoza to death at Northwest Side home<p><span class='embed-youtube' style='text-align:center; display: block;'><iframe class='youtube-player' type='text/html' width='500' height='312' src=';rel=1&#038;fs=1&#038;showsearch=0&#038;showinfo=1&#038;iv_load_policy=1&#038;wmode=transparent' frameborder='0'></iframe></span></p> <p>BY RUMMANA HUSSAIN<br /> Chicago Sun-Times</p> <p>A stay-at-home mother who brutally beat her 3-year-old daughter to death lied to police, telling them that the child stopped breathing following a home invasion at her Northwest Side apartment, Cook County prosecutors said.</p> <p>Paramedics found <a href="">Ashley Mendoza</a> on the kitchen floor Sunday night with visible injuries to her forehead, bruising on her hands and legs, scrapes and abrasions on her neck, Assistant State’s Attorney Robert Mack said.</p> <p>But there was no blood on the girl or near her body.</p> <p>Police later found blood splatter in <a href="">Maria Espinoza-Perez</a> bathroom’s vanity and shower, Mack said.</p> <p>Officer’s also discovered blood splatter in Ashley’s bedroom on a teddy bear, blanket, mattress and her crib’s wooden frame, Mack said.</p> <p>Espinoza-Perez allegedly had told both the baby’s father and authorities that Ashley stopped breathing after the apartment in the 3300 block of North Natchez Avenue was broken into.<br /> <span id="more-6009"></span><br /> <iframe src="" width="100%" height="350" frameborder=0></iframe></p> <p>However, police couldn’t find any evidence of forced entry, Mack said.</p> <p>Espinoza-Perez, 24, later admitted to police she made about the story about her apartment being broken into and admitted causing some of the injuries on Ashley’s body, Mack said.</p> <p>An autopsy performed Monday found Ashley died of multiple injuries from child abuse and her death was ruled a homicide, according to the medical examiner’s office.</p> <p>Noting that the circumstances surrounding Ashley’s death were “horrific,” Judge James Brown Wednesday said “there was no doubt” in his mind Espinoza-Perez that should be held without bond.<img src="" alt="Ashley Mendoza / Family Photo" width="300" height="225" class="size-medium wp-image-6021" /><p class="wp-caption-text">Ashley Mendoza / Family Photo</p></p> <p>The state Department of Children and Family Services also is investigating the mother for allegations of abuse, according to spokeswoman Karen Hawkins.</p> <p>The agency has not had previous reports regarding the family, and there are no other children in the home.</p> <p>The family had lived in their apartment for about three years, their upstairs neighbor said.</p> <p>Anita Padilla said her neighbors could be worryingly loud at times. Sometimes, their arguments were noisy enough to shake the walls, she said.</p> <p>“There was a lot of yelling, but it was mostly between the husband and wife,” Padilla said.</p> <p>The arguments were in Spanish, a language Padilla says she doesn’t speak. She said the arguments never resulted in a police visit.</p> <p>On Sunday, the neighbors were unusually quiet, Padilla said. “I didn’t even know they were at home.” </p> <p>Padilla said the girl’s father appeared to be a devoted dad.</p> <p>“When he would leave every day [for work], she would stand by the window, and he would stand by the car blowing kisses and giving air hugs,” Padilla said. </p> <p>-- Contributing: Sun-Times Media Wire</p> Emily BrosiousWed, 21 May 2014 14:10:14 -0500 MendozaMaria Espinoza-Perez