'Two different twisted stories': Parents seek answers in baby's suspicious death

Man charged in connection with 3-month-old J'Anthony McKnight's death

By Japhanie Gray - Reporter, Rob Garza - Photojournalist

SAN ANTONIO - The parents of 3-month-old J'Anthony McKnight had no idea the last sight of their son would be in a hospital bed fighting for his life.

J’Anthony lost the battle and died from injuries allegedly caused by Jose Rafael Amaya-Cantu, 32.

The baby's mother, Jasmine Ybarra, said Friday was the last time she and her boyfriend saw their son in a healthy state.

"My mom came over and asked if she could see her grandson and that her boyfriend (Amaya-Cantu) could see him," Ybarra said.

"I let them and asked if she would like to buy him some milk. She agreed saying she wanted to also take him shopping for some little outfits," Ybarra said.

Ybarra said she did not think the trip would take long but it did. During that time, she fell asleep with her two other young children.

"The next morning, my aunt is just banging on the door asking, 'Where is J'Anthony? Where is J'Anthony?’ I told her my mom has him and she was like, 'No! He is in the hospital and a detective wants to speak with you.'"

Ybarra said she was told to get to the hospital and once she arrived, she saw her baby boy, J'Anthony.

"When I saw him, he didn’t look like my baby. He didn’t look how I left him. It was just devastating," she said.

J'Anthony was suffering from brain swelling, a fractured skull, broken bones, and broken ribs, Ybarra said.

Ybarra and James McKnight, her boyfriend and J'Anthony’s father, were told different stories of what happened to their son.

"They are saying it was a car accident and then they are saying he fell off of the bed. So, it is two different twisted stories," Ybarra said.

Ybarra said as a result of J'Anthony's death, her two other children were later taken away.

"Child Protective Services got involved and took them. They made it seem like they were in danger. It just broke me because I just lost one and you are taking my other two," Ybarra said.

San Antonio police said Amaya-Cantu was the last person with J'Anthony’s unresponsive body when officers went to an unknown location for a report of an unresponsive baby.

Amaya-Cantu was later arrested and is facing a charge of serious bodily injury to a child. Police have not said if that charge will be upgraded.

In the meantime, as the family continues to search for answers and fight to have their children returned, they hope J'Anthony’s story will raise awareness about this serious issue in communities all over.

"It is not really goodbye to him. It is more like I will see you soon. His legacy will live on through me and I won’t forget my baby," Ybarra said.

"What is done in the dark, shall always come to light. I pray other families to be careful who they leave their children with and love and cherish them deeply."

San Antonio police said this investigation is still active.

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