Body of baby found in desert grave near Eloy

ELOY, AZ - Authorities say the body of a 3-month-old girl has been found in a remote desert area off Interstate 10 near Eloy.

Dawn Barkman with the Pima County Sheriff's Office said detectives became aware of a child abuse case that ended with the murder of the Vanessa Martinez in January.

Investigators believed that the victim's mother, 20-year-old Olivia Paige Martinez, and her father, Jonathan Niles Kesterson, 26, are responsible for the child's death.

Kesterson was arrested in San Diego on unrelated charges on April 12 and at that time he reportedly made comments to corrections staff regarding the girl's death. The San Diego County Sheriff's Office contacted the Pima County Sheriff's Office in Arizona to provide information related to the investigation.

Homicide detectives flew to San Diego to interview Kesterson and after the initial interview, warrants were issued for both parents.

Tuesday morning, homicide detectives and members of Southern Arizona Rescue Dog Incorporated began to search an area northwest of Toltec Road and Interstate 10 where at around 6:20 a.m. cadaver dogs alerted on an area being searched.

Detectives located what is believed to be the remains of Vanessa Martinez in a shallow grave.

Both Martinez and Kesterson have been returned to Pima County to face charges of first-degree murder and child abuse.

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