Gabriela Caban Cruz Case: A 13 year-old died in San Sebastian, Boyfriend is in custody

Gabriela Cabán Cruz Case

Police investigate multiple angles in the death of a child under 13 years of age in San Sebastián. In 2022, she was reported missing.

The 13-year-old girl, Gabriela Leylani Caban Cruz, had fled from a Family Department Home in the Quebradillas region on November 19, 2022, and she had arrived alive at the San Sebastian CDT this morning.

The CIC of Aguadilla is looking into Bryan Perez Hernandez, 27, who claims to be “his partner”. Three days ago, he appeared, and as a result, his mother regained custody of him.

Hence, the minor’s body has already been sent to ICF, where an autopsy will be conducted to ascertain the cause of death.

Gabriela Cabán Cruz died

A 13-year-old girl died this morning in the San Sebastián CDT where she was taken by her partner, a 27-year-old man, according to the Police press office.

The young woman was driven to the emergency hospital at 6:25 am today, Friday, by a driver named Brian X. Pérez Hernández, 27, in a blue Kia Soul, according to a news report from the Police Bureau.

What happened to the 13-year-old girl?

A doctor came to the car where the young woman was and indicated that she had no vital signs. It was reported that the minor had no visible signs of violence. The minor was identified as Gabriela Leylanie Cabán Cruz, 13 years old.

In a press release, the Police stressed that “a minor of that age does not have the capacity to consent to a relationship of this type. So it’s all part of the investigation.”

“By virtue of public policy, the process is carried out in accordance with the femicide investigation protocol, although it contemplates multiple angles in this initial stage,” they indicated.

Gabriela’s mother’s statement

The mother of the minor under 13 years of age who was taken without vital signs to the San Sebastián Diagnostic and Treatment Center (CDT), confirmed in the morning hours of Friday that the girl lived with her in her residence.

“Seeing my baby there…I don’t believe it,” said the mother of the young woman who was approached by the media.

When asked if the minor lived with her, she replied: “yes.” Immediately afterward, she was asked if the minor was in the custody of the Family Department and indicated: “She never lived with me.” (Never, she lived with me). The girl had also been reported missing in November 2022.

The minor, identified as Gabriela Leylanie Caban Cruz, was in a substitute home of the Family Department (DF) in Quebradillas on November 19, 2022, when she disappeared. The authorities reported the following day that Cabán Cruz had been found in good health in the Aguadilla area.

Melanie Cruz, mother of 13-year-old Gabriela Leylani Cabán Cruz, claimed that her daughter ran away from her. First, he said he had never seen Brian Perez Hernandez. He then admitted to having seen it twice. One of those, he said, was when his daughter introduced him to his residence as a “little friend”.

A Telenoticias source, a person very close to the child’s mother, claimed that in recent days the teenager had expressed to her that she felt pressured and softened by Pérez Hernandez, who has a criminal record for controlled substances.

Parents of Perez Hernandez claimed that their 27-year-old son and 13-year-old minor met on social networks 3 weeks ago.

They claimed that he visited her at the Muñekis residential in Aguadilla where the minor lived with her mother. They also said it was the minor’s mother who introduced her as an 18-year-old and approved of the relationship.

Who is Bryan Perez Hernandez?

The 27-year-old Brian Perez Hernández could have been convicted in the same way by saying he was a “partner” of the 13-year-old minor who died this morning in circumstances that are still under investigation.

He may face up to 50 years in prison in court for sexually assaulting a minor. In the jurisdiction of Puerto Rico, in order to consent to have sexual relations you must be 16 or older.

According to Transcendent, his aggressor Pérez Hernández was a user of controlled substances and it is being investigated whether the cause of the minor’s death could have been due to drug abuse. Authorities are waiting for the Institute of Forensic Sciences for the autopsy report.

Bryan Perez Hernandez

Relationship between Perez Hernández and the victim

The man and the minor allegedly had a 3-month relationship, Colonel Roberto Rivera, commander of the Auxiliary Superintendence of Criminal Investigations (SAIC) of the Police, informed NotiCentro.

In a preliminary interview conducted with him, the man alleged to investigators that the young woman was a drug user and that he allegedly lied about her age, however, these allegations would have to be corroborated by the agents.

The man would be interviewed by the agents about what they did yesterday prior to the death of the minor. The parents of the minor would also be interviewed. The colonel pointed out that it is an illegal relationship because she is a minor teenager with an adult.

Homicide agents from the Criminal Investigation Corps of the Aguadilla police zone are investigating together with prosecutor Diana Méndez, who ordered the removal of the body and its delivery to the Institute of Forensic Sciences. The Division of Sexual Crimes and Child Abuse joined the investigation because it was a minor.

Criminal Charges for Brian Perez Hernández

The man, who allegedly claimed that the minor was his partner, which would constitute an illegal act, has a criminal file for violation of the Controlled Substances Law and assault, however, the disposition of the charges in court is unknown.

“If there is something that is decisive in this investigation, it is the autopsy, because there were no signs of violence. The mother and other people from her close family nucleus will be interviewed this afternoon.

Not the father, because he is in the United States, ”said Nazario, about the unknowns that have arisen. Ongoing investigations, including those of the Department of the Family, could provide information configuring crimes such as sexual assault if it is proven that he had a relationship with the adult or negligence against his custodian.

In the end, who will make the determination with all the elements before it, will be the Aguadilla Prosecutor’s Office.

The family would assume custody of the siblings of a teenager who died in San Sebastián.

The Department of the Family was preparing to take custody of two children aged 11 and 6 on Friday night, brothers of Gabriela Leilany Cabán Cruz, the 13-year-old adolescent who was taken lifeless this morning to the Center for Diagnosis and Treatment from San Sebastián by a 27-year-old who said he was his partner.

“I understand that the Family Department is going to take jurisdiction over the minors that she (Cabán Cruz’s mother) has,” Lieutenant Irizarry of the Aguadilla Criminal Investigation Corps told Telenoticias (channel 2). 

On the other hand, conflicting versions of the case have begun to surface, after the mother of the minor, Melanie Cruz, told the Telemundo cameras that her daughter had run away from home and that she did not know where or with whom she was found.

However, the woman admitted that Bryan Pérez Hernández, her daughter’s alleged partner, visited her home on at least one occasion, in which her daughter introduced him to her as “a friend” and that it was not until today when she arrived at the hospital that saw the young man again.

“My daughter took him to my house like a normal little friend… My daughter ran away and left. I had no knowledge of anything. I just want justice for my daughter,” added the woman, a neighbor of the Muñeki residential area in Aguadilla, visibly affected.

Gabriela Cabán Cruz had been reported missing twice in 2022

Cabán Cruz had escaped from a Family Department home in Quebradillas on November 19 of last year and three days later was located in Aguadilla. She was later relocated to her mother’s home, confirmed the spokesman for the Police Bureau, Commander Carlos Nazario.

On Monday, November 21, 2022, agent Osvaldo Acevedo Soto of the Robbery Division of the Criminal Investigations Corps of the Arecibo police area, requests citizen cooperation regarding the disappearance of the 12-year-old minor Gabriela Leylanie Caban Cruz. 

On the date of Saturday, November 19, the minor was in a foster home by the Family Department in the town of Quebradillas and the person in charge informed the Police headquarters about her disappearance. 

The minor was described as white, 5’0 feet tall, weighing 125 pounds, with brown eyes, long brown hair, and a tattoo on her left arm (Todo Pasa) 

Investigative work is ongoing; awaiting autopsy findings

The Police Bureau is investigating the death of a 13-year-old girl identified as Gabriela Cabán Cruz who was taken by a 27-year-old man to a hospital in San Sebastián.

The investigation is in charge of three divisions of the Puerto Rico Police, with the support of the Department of Justice’s Aguadilla Prosecutor’s Office.

The Police Commissioner, Antonio López Figueroa, assigned agents from the Criminal Investigation Corps (CIC), the Sexual Crimes Division, and the Domestic Violence Division.

Meanwhile, the Secretary of the Department of Justice, Domingo Emanuelli Hernández, appointed prosecutors from the Specialized Unit for Domestic Violence, Sexual Crimes, and Child Abuse.

The investigative team is collecting all the evidence and interviewing witnesses. By virtue of public policy, the process is carried out in accordance with the femicide investigation protocol, although it contemplates multiple angles in this initial stage.

The adolescent arrived without vital signs at the San Sebastián Diagnostic and Treatment Center. She is she was taken by Brian Pérez Hernández, 27, who identified himself as her partner.

However, it should be noted that a minor of that age does not have the capacity to consent to a relationship of this type. So it’s all part of the investigation.

Once the investigation is complete and the required evidence is obtained, the Prosecutor’s Office may make a determination on the possible formulation of criminal charges.

Agent Ángel Morales Acevedo, attached to the Aguadilla Homicide Division, is investigating the case and prosecutor Diana Méndez would order the removal of the body and its transfer to the Institute of Forensic Sciences (ICF) for autopsy purposes.

Investigate the Family Department

For her part, the interim secretary of the Family, Ciení Rodríguez Troche, confirmed that the DF team in Aguadilla began the social investigation of the event, parallel to the criminal one.

“The information on the death at the moment is very preliminary and we are collaborating with the authorities to clarify it. Because it is a criminal investigation, it is up to the authorities to determine the course, but we as a Family will support the investigation,” the official said in writing.

If you know of a case of negligence or abuse against minors, the elderly, or adults with disabilities, you can call the 24-hour Mexico City Abuse Line at (787) 749-1333.

We should wait for the official autopsy reports. Medico Topics extends our deepest condolences to Cabán Cruz’s family during this difficult time. Let us be a source of strength and comfort for one another as we navigate through this painful journey of grief and remembrance.


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