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Release Number: 09-066

For Immediate Release

Public Information Office

March 9, 2009

Debbie Carter:

(813) 247-8060




Suspect:  Kenneth Lopez,  DOB 9-23-87
                Homestead Inn
                5401 Beaumont Center Blvd.  Room 108, Tampa, FL
Charge:  Aggravated Child Abuse

Victim:    2 year old Gabrielle Randel


Aggravated Child Abuse


Sunday, March 8, 2009 at 5:00 a.m.


Homestead Inn, 5 401 Beaumont Center Blvd., Room 108










On March 7, 2009 the suspect, Kenneth Lopez, (which is the live in boyfriend of the victim's mother) abused the victim.  The victim did not want to go to sleep, so the suspect wrapped the 2 year old with a white towel around the arms and torso then wrapped her in a blanket including her face and began to strike the victim repeatedly upon her body as she was wrapped within the blanket. As a result of the beating the victim became unconscious and stopped breathing. At approximately 5:00 A.,M.on March 8, 2009 the mother called  authorities.  The child was transported to St. Joseph's Hospital where she was admitted in critical condition.  At approximately 1:00 p.m. Sunday, March 8, 2009 the child died at the hospital.  

An autopsy will be performed by the Medical Examiner's Office to determine the cause of death.  At the time of  Kenneth Lopez' arrest, he admitted to detectives that he wrapped the child in a towel and a blanket covering her face and struck her several times to discipline her because she did not want to go to sleep and she would not stop crying.

The child's mother, Danielle McCleary and the suspect had been living in the hotel for approximately 2 weeks after moving here from Illinois.  McCleary also has a 3 year old son that was present during the abuse and is now in the custody of Department of Children and Family.