UPDATE: After autopsy completed, man also charged with raping toddler.


TRENTON — Investigators said a 2-year-old girl died after being burned and suffocated by her mother's boyfriend on Wednesday.

Maison Andres Torres, 25, caused the death of Lia Victoria Merino-Rodriguez by burning her with scalding water, punching her and suffocating her with his hands, according to the Mercer County Homicide Task Force and city police.

He was charged with first-degree murder and second-degree endangering the welfare of a child.

Police initially responded to the 1500 block of Chestnut Avenue in the Chestnut Park section of Trenton about 4:20 p.m. on a report of an unresponsive toddler who had fallen down a flight of stairs, according to Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri.

The girl was hospitalized and died a short time later.

Onori said the three lived at the address in a room being rented by the mother. The girl's mother was not home at the time of the beating, officials said. Onofri on Thursday did not say whether investigators knew what motivated the violence.

Torres was being held in the Mercer County Correction Center pending a detention hearing scheduled for Aug. 27.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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