Mom Charged with Murder After Deputy Driving by Allegedly Notices Her Holding Lifeless Son: Police

Gloria Hughes is charged with first-degree murder and child abuse resulting in death

<p>Bel Air Police Department</p> Gloria Hughes

Bel Air Police Department

Gloria Hughes

A North Carolina woman was charged with murder in Maryland after a sheriff’s deputy found her holding her toddler’s lifeless body, police say.

Police in Bel Air, Md., allege that a Harford County Sheriff’s Deputy was driving early Sunday morning when he saw a woman, identified as Gloria Elena Hughes, 37, standing in the street holding a lifeless child. The deputy immediately called for assistance.

The child, Jason Garcia, 3, was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead, the police department says.

According to charging documents obtained by WUSA, WBALTV and WLBT, Hughes was allegedly shown on surveillance video banging her son into the ground several times.

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The documents allege the child was also in the emergency room the night before, having ingested acid, per the reports.

WUSA also reported, citing documents, that the boy’s father had alerted police in North Carolina Saturday morning to a custody dispute.

Hughes is charged with first-degree murder and child abuse resulting in death. It is not immediately clear if she has entered a plea.

If you suspect child abuse, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

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