Nathalyz showed some signs of bruising, but that may have come from bug or rodent bites at the house, which Clark said was in “bad shape.” The family had one previous contact with the Department of Human Services in 2008, but Clark did not immediately view that issue as relevant to the girl’s death.
“It’s very sad, very disturbing,” Clark said of the girl’s death, which the medical examiner said was primarily caused by starvation. “I saw the photos, and even for me, they were difficult to look at.”
The other Rivera children — ages 9, 8 and 7, along with Nathalyz’s 3-year-old twin — were being checked at a hospital before being placed with the Department of Human Services.
Danieal Kelly’s death became the subject of a harrowing grand jury report, which found that city workers and contractors lied about visits to the family home. They are now serving lengthy prison terms. The girl’s mother is serving 20 to 40 years for her murder plea, and the father received up to five years for abandoning Danieal at her unfit mother’s home.
This year, a homeless mother of six was convicted of involuntary murder for the starvation death of her premature twin at a shelter in 2010. A social worker had seen 2-month-old Quasir Alexander shortly before he died, weighing just over 4 pounds. Quasir’s twin was found near death. The social worker — who said she never saw the boys undressed — was fired, but not charged.
The mother, Tanya Williams, awaits sentencing. Her defense lawyer has questioned how much she understood about caring for premature infants, given her low IQ. The twins were released from a city hospital to the homeless shelter when they were four days old, although Williams was getting parenting help from several sources.