On Monday, March 12, 2018, at approximately 9:52 pm, the Chowchilla Police Department was contacted by the Madera Police Department regarding the investigation of a possible drowning that may have occurred in the City of Chowchilla earlier in the evening.
Investigators from the Chowchilla Police Department and Madera County Sheriff’s Office worked through the night and determined that the child did not drown as reported, the child was the victim of abuse. The child sustained major injuries which led investigators to believe that the child was a victim of a homicide and not an accidental drowning.
The suspect in the case was reported to have called emergency medical services and advised them that he was on his way to the hospital with a drowning victim. When he was advised to give a location so that an ambulance could meet him to render aid, it is believed he stopped his vehicle, left the unresponsive child along with two other minors at a gas station in the City of Madera and left the area. The suspect, Chowchilla resident, 39-year-old Cornell Jackson, was later located and arrested for Felony Torture, Felony Murder, Felony Assault of a Child causing Death, and possession of Methamphetamine a misdemeanor.
A second suspect, Jackson’s girlfriend, 35-year-old Monica Meza was contacted and later arrested for Felony Child Endangerment.
Both Jackson and Meza were later booked into the Madera County Department of Corrections for the charges listed.
The other child in the home was turned over to the Madera County Child Protective Services.
If anyone has information regarding this case they are urged to contact Chowchilla Police Department (559) 665-8600 and speak to Sgt. Denny.
Chief Dave Riviere said “this is a tragic loss of an innocent child’s life. No one should have to endure the pain this poor child did.”