Texas investigators identify 'Little Jacob,' who was killed 8 months ago, and arrest his mother

A 4-year-old boy whose body washed up on a Texas beach in October finally has a name, and his mother has been arrested, authorities announced Wednesday.

The child, known only as "Little Jacob" was found on the Galveston shoreline. Police and FBI agents worked relentlessly to identify the boy and his family members. For months they got nowhere, despite releasing a sketch of the child and combing every missing child database in the country.

There was "no family, no friend, no outcry," said Galveston Police Chief Vernon Hale. "My only goal was to give this baby a name."

In January, desperate investigators made an unusual decision: They released a photograph of the dead child's face and said he had been the victim of neglect and abuse.

That image brought in two tips that led authorities to Rebecca Rivera, 34, and her girlfriend, Dania Gomez, 31, Hale said. Rivera was the boy's mother. His name was Jayden Alexander Lopez. 

"Both were present at his death and both came to Galveston and dumped his body," the chief said. 

Rivera has been charged with a felony count of tampering or fabricating physical evidence and is being held in lieu of $250,000 bail. Gomez faces a misdemeanor count of the same charge and is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail. 

Neither has entered a plea.

Jayden's cause of death was not released. He lived with his mother and her girlfriend in Houston. A 3-year-old girl found at the home has been placed in protective custody, authorities said. 

"The victim was a defenseless child," FBI agent Brian Gaines said at Wednesday's press conference announcing the arrests. "Jayden had no other advocate than us."

RELATED: See notable cold case murders throughout history: 

Notable cold cases and unsolved murders throughout history
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Notable cold cases and unsolved murders throughout history

In June 1893 Lizzie Borden stood trial, later acquitted, for killing her father and stepmother with an ax.

(Photo via Bettmann/Getty Images)

Foreboding Kingsbury Run, shunned by the timid as the legend of its murders has grown, is indicated on this map by dots locating 10 of the 11 torso murders which have occurred there since Sept. 23, 1935. Police, delving into the lives of the mad murderer's victims, hope to uncover clues which will end the periodic killings. Discovery of photo negatives in the belongings of Edward Andra Ssy, first victim, show Andra Ssy in a strange room which, if identified, may provide a live lead, police believe. As the map shows, the murderer departed only twice from his custom of assailing victims in Kingsbury Run or adjacent Cuyahoga river valley.

(Bettmann via Getty Images)

Bucks Row, now Durward Street, east London, where the body of Mary Ann Nichols, victim of Jack the Ripper, was found lying across the gutter.

(Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Head shot of aspiring actress Elizabeth Short, a murder victim nicknamed the Black Dahlia. 

(Photo via Bettmann/Getty Images)

Daily News front page dated June, 16, 1990, Headline: IS HE THE ZODIAC?, Police sketch of man who approached latest victim in Central Park last Thursday and asked him his birth date., June 26, 1990 . , Zodiac Killer. , Heriberto Seda. Headlines. IS HE THE ZODIAC ?

(Photo by NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

U.S. labor leader Jimmy Hoffa is photographed at the Greater Pittsburgh Airport, Pennsylvania in this April 12, 1971 file photograph. Hoffa was switching planes from San Francisco, and was returning to the federal prison in Allenwood, Pennsylvania. Hoffa was let out of prison to visit his wife, who had been hospitalized with heart problems. FBI teams on May 25, 2006 sifted by hand through dirt from a chest-deep hole in the ground in an intense search for the body of Jimmy Hoffa three decades after his disappearance. Hoffa was last seen outside a Detroit-area restaurant where he was to meet New Jersey Teamsters' boss Anthony "Tony Pro" Provenzano, a member of the Genovese crime family, and a local Mafia captain, Anthony "Tony Jack" Giacalone. Hoffa was declared dead in 1982, and numerous books about his life have pinned his disappearance on mobsters who murdered him because they did not want him interfering with their close ties to the union.

(REUTERS/Jerry Siskind)

 The site where 6 year old JonBenet Ramsey was killed in Boulder, Colorado, 1996.

(Photo by Karl Gehring/Liaison)

Black car in which rapper Tupac Shakur was fatally shot by unknown driveby assassins as he was riding w. friend Death Row records. pres. Marion Suge Knight, who survived shooting, behind police tape at crime scene (Photo by Malcolm Payne/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)
Los Angeles Police detectives released this composite drawing March 27 of the man they believe killed rap star Notorious B.I.G. in Los Angeles recently. The suspect, a black man in his early 20's with close-cropped hair, was wearing a bow-tie the night of the drive-by killing. Investigators have set up a toll free number for the public to call with any information about the suspect. NOTORIOUS BIG
Donna Norris poses next to a photo of her daughter Amber Hagerman, January 4, 2011, who was kidnapped 15 years ago while riding a bicycle near Norris mother's home in Arlington, Texas on January 13, 1996. (Richard W. Rodriguez/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT via Getty Images)


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