A woman from Florida was arrested by the authorities for murder and child abuse after a 4-month-old baby girl died. The 28-year-old suspect tried to pin the blame on a toddler who she said had been rough with the baby on numerous occasions.
The suspect, Samantha Angeles-De La Rosa, told the police that the 2-year-old toddler was the one who pulled the 4-month-old baby off a changing table, causing the baby to hit the floor and sustain fatal injuries. The incident happened at Polk County on May 26, at around 10 p.m.
According to the spokeswoman of the Polk County Sheriff's Office, Carrie Horstman, Del La Rosa called the police after she saw that the baby was no longer responding. When the authorities arrived at the home, they found the baby with bruises all over her body.
The infant was rushed to the hospital but was pronounced dead. The authorities asked De La Rosa about the bruises in the infant's head, face, and body, but her answer was inconsistent with the result of the investigation. She claimed that the 2-year-old child was rough with the baby and has been hitting the infant with toys.
Dr. Stephen Nelson, the medical examiner who conducted an autopsy on the baby, found that the infant had a fractured skull which then caused a brain bleed and bruising outside the brain of the baby.
Dr. Nelson also said that the lethal injuries were caused by blunt force trauma, and he noticed that the infant had two fractured ribs and a fractured left forearm. All of the fractures were healing, which means that the injuries were old. He stated that the infant died due to homicide.
How she committed the murder
After the autopsy on the infants was done, detectives interviews De La Rosa again and she told them that she caused the arm injury because she pulled the infant out of a car seat and the rib injuries were caused by her squeezing the baby too hard when she was angry.
De La Rosa continued to blame the 2-year-old for the death of the infant, but she told the detectives that she was overwhelmed the morning of the murder because the infant would not stop crying. She eventually admitted that she lost it and grabbed the infant and struck its head hard twice against the changing table frame.
De La Rosa was arrested on one count of second-degree murder and two counts of aggravated child abuse and she was booked into the Polk County Jail without the possibility of parole.
Grady Judd, the Polk County Sheriff, advised anyone people to reach out to family, friends, clergy, or even social services for assistance if they feel overwhelmed by taking care of a child.
A study done in 2009 shows that in the United States there were a total of 2,402 children that were less than 2 years old who have died from homicide from the years 2001 to 2005. The data has no signs of slowing down soon, as the mental health issues in the country are beginning to increase, especially during the pandemic.
Judd also urged people to contact their local law enforcement agency or the Department of Children and Families Abuse if they know any child that is being abused.