Whitehead charged with toddler death

By BRIAN COSNER, News Review Staff Writer

Ridgecrest mother Jordan Whitehead, charged with the second-degree murder of her toddler son, had her first felony arraignment hearing Tuesday, Oct. 2. The arraignment was continued to Oct. 9 at 3 p.m. in Bakersfield.

According to police reports, 20-year-old Whitehead called 911 in July after finding her son Aydan, nearly two years old, unresponsive after a bath. According to court records, Whitehead is suspected of having left her child alone in the full bathtub for nearly 20 minutes.

The child was reportedly found with severe bruising when he was transported to Ridgecrest Regional Hospital and revived. But after being moved to Loma Linda University Medical Center, Aydan died days later.

Officers of the Ridgecrest Police Department arrested Whitehead and booked her in the Bakersfield Central Receiving Facility, but charges were withheld pending autopsy information and further investigation.

However, on Aug. 3, while Whitehead was still in Bakersfield, she was arrested at a homeless shelter for an unrelated assault charge. She pled no contest to a misdemeanor battery and received 40 days in jail.

But the suspicious circumstances of her child’s death still loomed over her. In an interview from jail, she defended the actions that led to her previous arrest and attributed the child’s bruising to an attempt to resuscitate him. “I don’t know infant CPR,” she said. “I was doing regular CPR on him, and it wasn’t working. And then I started to panic and then my mind just started to shut down.”

But law enforcement officials have since completed their prior investigation and Whitehead is now facing felony charges for second-degree murder and child cruelty. Her bail is set at $1 million.

She and her former partner Joshua McGowan both pled no contest to previous misdemeanor charges of child cruelty in 2017 when they served several weeks of jail time.

Whitehead has a second son who is being held in protective custody.

Story First Published: 2018-10-05