Navy Sailor, Girlfriend Accused of Child Abuse in Murrieta


A Navy sailor and his girlfriend are in jail after detectives found the sailor's malnourished 5-year-old son gravely injured in their home in Murrieta on Tuesday. The child was hospitalized in grave condition on Wednesday according to the San Diego Union Tribune. Police did not specify how the child suffered his injuries. 

Benjamin Whitten, a 33-year-old machinist's mate at Naval Base Point Loma, was arrested along with his girlfriend, 25-year-old Jeryn Johnson on suspicion of child abuse and torture. 

Officers discovered the child after responding to a 911 call reporting that a child was in need of medical aid. Lt. Tony Conrad said police got a search warrant and found "extremely unsanitary" living conditions. Animal control officers were needed to remove 11 dogs, four cats, and two fish from the house. Feces and urine were found througout the Murrieta home. 

According to Johnson's Facebook page, she fosters dogs for an animal rescue organization. Detectives suspect the couple is responsible for the child's "dire condition" thanks to evidence found in the home coupled with statements from Whitten and Johnson. 

People have flocked to Whitten and Johnson's Facebook pages posting comments about the alleged abuse. 


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