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 (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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