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.