Jonathan Gilbert had barely turned one when he was run over on August 28 in the driveway of the home where he lived with his grandparents and his mother. A heartbroken relative, who asked not to be identified, is responding to the tragedy.
"He was like any other child," she said. "He was a precious little baby. You know, no child deserves to die, especially for no reason."
When San Jacinto Sheriff's deputies arrived at the scene, they say the child's uncle, Trevor Lee Gilbert, Sr., 28, and grandmother, Tamara Johnson, 49, told them a car had rolled over the child with no one behind the wheel.
Captain Tim Morgan with the San Jacinto Sheriff's Office said, "It later came out that he started the vehicle and had actually lunged forward and struck the child."
Gilbert is charged with manslaughter, and abandoning and endangering a child. Johnson is charged with abandoning and endangering a child, and with drug possession. Gilbert is a registered sex offender with a long rap sheet that includes aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Johnson also has a criminal record.
"I always figured something would happen to the family, something related with drugs," the relative said.
The relative feels Jonathan and his four-year-old half-sister, who investigators say witnessed her brother's death, should have been removed from their mother. In March, CPS opened a neglectful supervision investigation, but found no abuse or neglect.
She asked, "How did CPS let it get so bad? I mean, if they knew, why didn't they take the children?"
CPS says the mother moved several times and avoided the agency. In July, they say she was cooperating, and promised not to leave the children with their grandmother unsupervised. She was hospitalized the day Jonathan was struck. Now the family is devastated.
"He's missed. He was loved very much," the relative said.
The four-year-old girl has been placed with her biological father. Both the girl and Jonathan were tested for drugs. If those tests come back positive, more charges may be filed.
Take ABC13 with you!
Download our free apps for iPhone, iPad and Android devices