Couple who cops say had dead toddler in a duffel bag at Mexico border charged with murder

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A California man and woman who were allegedly stopped at the Mexico border with a dead toddler stuffed in a duffel bag have been charged with murder.

The couple faces other felony counts including torture in connection with the child's body allegedly discovered while the two were attempting to cross the border into Tijuana on Aug. 9.

Read: Man Gets 3 Years For Killing Disabled Child After Putting Vodka In Feeding Tube

Mercy Mary Becerra, 43, and Johnny Lewis Hartley, 39, are expected to be arraigned Friday, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office announced.

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Couple charged with murder after cops find dead toddler in duffel bag at Mexican border
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Couple charged with murder after cops find dead toddler in duffel bag at Mexican border

Prosecutors said Becerra and Hartley allegedly trafficked the toddler's mother between November 2012 and August 2016.

In that time, the defendants are alleged to have seized the woman's daughter, severely abused the child and ultimately killed the victim.

San Diego police said Hartley was carrying the bag containing the remains when officials reportedly X-rayed the sack and discovered a body inside, believed to belong to a female about 2 years old, police said.

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If convicted, each defendant faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

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