Lower Hudson Valley Parents Confess to Killing Newborn
Lower Hudson Valley parents pleaded guilty in connection to the death of their 6-week-old child.
Westchester District Attorney Miriam E. Rocah announced on Thursday a Mount Vernon couple pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide. Henry Lantigua and Shannelle Straker were charged with the death of their six-week-old baby in the mother’s Mount Vernon home.
On May 31, 2018, Mount Vernon Police and emergency services responded to 911 calls from the South Fifth Avenue apartment where Straker lived with her mother and her two children, including an infant, Jessamine Lantigua, who was born April 16, 2018. Jessamine’s father, Lantigua, lived nearby.
Both parents called 911 and on arrival, EMS found the infant unresponsive. They took the baby to Montefiore-Mount Vernon Hospital where she was pronounced dead. Medical and emergency personnel including EMS, the police and in the emergency room, noted the infant was emaciated and had a severe rash covering most of her body and her face, officials say.
The medical examiner determined that the death was a homicide and that the infant died from being undernourished, weighing only slightly more than she did at birth.
“This is a horrible tragedy and loss of innocent life,” Rocah said. “Neglect of this infant led to an avoidable death. Parents have an obligation to provide proper care for their children.”