VINELAND, N.J. - Last summer, Guillermina Matias-Lopez was estranged from the man who had gotten her pregnant three months earlier, and worried about how she could afford to care for a baby alone.
She thought about adoption. But her new boyfriend, Randy Lopez-Rivas, said she should keep the baby. He promised he would take care of the child, too.
So when Kimberly was born Jan. 26, Matias-Lopez gave her the last name Lopez-Matias - combining her own name and her boyfriend's - the 21-year-old mother said in an interview in yesterday's Daily Journal in Vineland.
On Wednesday, less than three months later, her boyfriend was charged with killing the baby girl.
Lopez-Rivas, 19, a day laborer, was off that day. He volunteered to take the baby to her baby sitter, a neighbor. He was good with the child, her mother said. He bought her toys. He didn't drink much. He certainly was not violent.
But in the afternoon, Lopez-Rivas showed up alone at the sitter's house, asking for a ride to Camden, police said. The sitter didn't have time.
When the sitter asked where the baby was, he said he had dropped her off at another sitter's home.
That, apparently, was a lie.
When Lopez-Matias got home that evening, there was blood on the carpet and blood on the bed. Her boyfriend and her daughter were gone.
Later that night, police found the baby's remains in a garbage bag behind a washing machine in the basement.
On Wednesday, New Jersey Transit Police found Lopez-Rivas outside the Walter Rand Transportation Center, in Camden.
Authorities said Lopez-Rivas, born in Guatemala, burst into tears and spoke to them in broken English: "I was drunk."
He was returned to Vineland and charged with murder.
Police suspect that he beat the baby to death.
"I will never forgive him for this," Matias-Lopez said through an interpreter, her eyes swollen from crying.
"I had a lot of plans with my child." *