Heartbroken Father Left With Questions After Suspicious Death Of Son

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A heartbroken Father, Misa Lopez says that he is just trying to cope following the death of his young son Julius.

“He was a good kid. He was so obedient, so full of life. I’m really going to miss him.”

Everybody keeps telling me things will get better, but honestly I don’t know how. I don’t know where to go from here. The only thing that was keeping me straight in my life is gone. I don’t know what to do,” said Lopez.

Homicide detectives are calling his toddler son’s death suspicious, after he was found unresponsive on Wednesday morning, in an apartment on the 2500 block of South Ninth Street in Calwa.

Julius, who would have turned two years old next month, lived with his Mom — Lopez’s estranged wife.

“I don’t know what happened. I’ve been trying to contact them and got nothing. I’m full of all these questions just like you guys are,” said Lopez.

Family members said that the mother’s boyfriend, Gage Hurtado often stayed at the home and was there at the time of the tragedy.

According to police records, Hurtado was arrested on Wednesday on assault –likely causing death to a child. The man is also due in court Friday in a separate domestic violence case.

“I’m just angry because I told her numerous times I wanted to take him. I wanted custody of him but she always told me I’m going to keep him. It just sucks because I feel like I should’ve had him. I feel like if he was with me this wouldn’t have happened,” said Lopez.

The family has set up a GoFundMe page to help cover funeral costs.

Foster father charged in baby’s death


Police say Daevon Branon-Banks died last week in the care of his foster parents. He was 1-years-old.

Craig Dickens initially told police that Daevon fell from his crib. But, that wasn’t true. Officers say Dickens later admitted to throwing Daevon to the floor multiple times when he was drunk.

“He had a special light about him. He was an angel,” said Ramona Branon, Daevon’s grandmother. “I really think he was an angel sent from God.”

Daevon was laid to rest Thursday morning. His contagious smile and laugh is already missed. “It just seems so unfair that this had to happen to him. He was so precious,” Ramona said.

Daevon fought for his life for two days before he died.”I prayed hard and I prayed long and I never left his side but Tuesday evening his little heart stopped,” said Gabrielle Branon, Daevon’s mother.

Police records detail a heartbreaking encounter. Daevon was tossed from the bathroom to a window twice. 34-year-old Craig Dickens blamed his inexplicable actions on alcohol. Daevon suffered from head injuries and later died. “I had to fly 12 hours to get home and I went to the hospital and we stayed up there until he took his last breath,” Ramona said.

Daevon was placed in foster care in late April after someone accused Gabrielle of driving Daevon while high.

According to the Department of Family Services, the Branon’s were placed under formal supervision. A family friend, Craig Dickens and his wife, were taking care of Daevon. Four months later, Daevon died.

“I won’t see him again, he won’t get to run into my arms again, and I won’t be able to kiss my baby again because somebody took that away from me,” Gabrielle said. Ramona Branon was trying to gain custody of Daevon. She wants to know why and how this happened. “We didn’t put our hands and hurt our baby, someone else did that… Craig did that,” Ramona said. Craig Dickens has been charged with murder.



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