PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The parents of a disabled 3-year-old girl who died weighing just 11 pounds were charged Tuesday with murder in what authorities are calling the starvation death of the child, who may have also suffered insect and rodent bites.
Both parents were taken into custody after Nathalyz Rivera was found unresponsive Monday at the family’s squalid Philadelphia home. Her twin and three other siblings were taken into protective custody.
The girl “had not seen a doctor in over a year, even with all the severe disabilities,” said Homicide Capt. James Clark, who did not disclose Nathalyz’s specific health problems.
Carlos Rivera, 30, and Carmen Ramirez, 27, are charged with third-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter, endangering the welfare of a child and criminal conspiracy.
The mother, who is married to Rivera but apparently comes and goes at the house, had seen her daughter in recent weeks, Clark said at a news conference Monday.
The case echoes the 2006 starvation death of another disabled Philadelphia girl, Danieal Kelly, who died weighing 42 pounds at age 14. Her mother is in prison for third-degree murder, while her father was convicted of felony neglect.
More than a dozen people in all were convicted in the Kelly case, including city workers and contractors who failed to visit the home. But the Rivera family did not appear to be on the city’s radar.
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.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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