Deputies responded to the 11400 block of McDougal Street on reports of a child not breathing at 1:17 p.m.
They found 2-year-old Pricilla Hernandez there not breathing, and Hernandez was pronounced dead at the scene.
She was taken to the Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital for further investigation, where investigators found she had injuries that suggested child abuse.
Deputies then took David Leonardo, 26, into custody on suspicion of felony child abuse and child endangerment.
Hernandez's autopsy is scheduled for Monday, after which investigators will determine if they intend to file any additional charges.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the Monterey County Sheriff's Office at (831) 755-3772.