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Rest in Peace

Published on February 22, 2008 by Associated Press

Unstable Father with Visitation Rights Kills Daughter


NEW YORK —  To neighbors, Miguel Matias was a doting father who took his three children to restaurants and bought them presents.

But the unassuming building supervisor also had a dark side, including a history of violence and mental problems.

Police said his torment peaked last week when he grew so enraged that his 14-year-old daughter, Ana, was sending text messages to a boy that he choked her and stuffed her body into a burning furnace boiler.

The killing shocked friends and family -- especially a cousin who received a phone call from Matias in which he calmly described what he had done.

"He called me, and said `I have a problem. I killed Ana,"' Pablo Castillo said. "I couldn't believe what he said to me."

Castillo rushed to the apartment, went down to the basement with police and saw a body in the boiler. "I looked for about a second and then I could not look anymore. I saw part of a burned body. I couldn't look any more. I couldn't believe it," he said, speaking in Spanish.

Police said Matias, 34, was being held at Bellevue Hospital Center and awaiting arraignment on charges of murder and manslaughter. It wasn't clear if he had an attorney.

The medical examiner's office is conducting tests to confirm that the body in the boiler was that of Ana and whether the teen was dead or alive before she was stuffed into it.

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said last weekend that Matias called police and said he dumped her body in a wooded area. But when officers searched the building Saturday, they discovered a body in the boiler.

The killing has raised questions about whether Matias should have had visitation rights for his children and whether he received the proper psychiatric care.

Matias was institutionalized after trying to set a car on fire with his children inside in Pennsylvania, police said. Family members said it was only after one of his sons said goodbye to his sister that Matias changed his mind and decided not to torch the car.

It was not clear why he continued to have visitation rights after that. Family members said that before Ana's death, Matias wanted to seek psychiatric help. They said he had applied for government insurance to cover the expense of counseling, but was denied. Matias also tried to hang himself while in police custody last weekend.

His emotional problems apparently tore apart him and his wife, Jocelyn, several years ago, family members said. A few weeks ago, she moved to Pennsylvania with Ana and her two younger brothers.

"He was a good father and she was a good daughter," said Matias' mother, Natalia Aquino, 50, sobbing as she clenched a few crumpled tissues. "I don't know why he did that."

Family and friends described Ana as a vivacious and well-dressed 8th-grader who dreamed of becoming a model. Matias often gave her money to get her hair and nails done.

"She was always dancing and taking pictures," said Matias' 29-year-old sister, Casandra. "She always wanted to look cute."

Casandra Matias said her brother never abused Ana. She claimed the girl said she wanted to stay with her father instead of moving to Pennsylvania. Her aunts believe Ana may have had boyfriend in New York.

"She sounded happy," said friend Trene Simmons, 11, who spoke to Ana about a week before the teen's death. "She never mentioned something going on between her and her father."

Tenants in Matias' building said he was a quiet and courteous supervisor who was always ready to lend a hand when they had problems in their apartments. But "you never know when you can be talking to a demon," said Xiomare Cedeno, 49, who lives in the building.

Family members are struggling to cope with the tragedy.

"I have a photo of her that I keep looking at," said Castillo, the uncle who saw the burning body. "I can't eat, I can't sleep. All I think about is this event and wonder, how could it have happened?"

Copyright © 2008 Associated Press Feb 17, 2008 7:00 pm US/Eastern +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Byron Lagoy Arrested for Seriously Injuring Seven-Week-Old Daughter

by Anne-Marie Nichols on December 23rd, 2007

In Plattsburgh, NY, Bryon Lagoy, 23, was arrested for abusing his infant daughter, Jasmine Lagoy, while caring for her. The child suffered suffered multiple fractures and trauma.

Jasmine was released from the hospital where she was initially listed in critical condition. The baby is now in the protective custody of the Department of Social Services. Jasmine’s mother, Heather Bouyea, has not been charged with any crime. 

Lagoy is behind bars and unable to post $10,000 cash bail. He will be facing a felony charge of second-degree assault, which accuses him of knowingly and recklessly causing physical injury to the young child.


Rest in Peace
Little Baby

Father arrested after infant son's death; Report shows sexual abuse

by jshabe
Friday August 17, 2007, 5:51 PM

The city Medical Examiner's report showed that Joseph A. Wallace's son had head trauma and lacerations in his rectum.

A 21-year-old Staten Island man has been arrested on manslaughter charges stemming from the death of his 2-month-old son in May.

Joseph A. Wallace, of Jewett Ave. in Port Richmond, was arrested on Thursday night after the city Medical Examiner determined that the child's death was a homicide.

After an examination of the child, Joseph A. Wallace Jr., showed that he had lacerations inside his rectum, police questioned the boy's father.

Wallace allegedly told police that he inserted his finger's into the child's rectum in an attempt to stop the child from crying. Instead, the child sustained internal injuries.

The Medical Examiner's report determined the child died from a blunt impact to the head.

In addition to the manslaughter charge, sources say Wallace could also be charged with aggravated sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child.

--Contributed by Peter N. Spencer


Queens father arrested in shaking of infant daughter

NEW YORK - A Queens dad is under arrest on charges he severely shook his infant daughter while his wife was in the shower.

Prosecutors say the 2-month-old girl remains in critical condition four days after she was shaken. Doctors say she suffered bleeding on her brain.

The 31-year-old father is charged with first-degree assault and endangering the welfare of a child. He could face up to 25 years in prison if convicted.

Prosecutors say the child began to cry and was shaken violently and repeatedly. They say that after the mother got out of the shower, the girl was taken to a hospital.

Prosecutors say the mother won't be charged

Rest in Peace

Posted: Friday, 07 December 2007 8:31AM

Father Arrested in Daughter's Beating Death

NEW YORK (AP)  -- A father was arrested in the beating death of his 3-year-old daughter as authorities removed three other children and the family dog from his home.

Jason Marcelle, 33, was arrested on charges of murder and manslaughter against a person less than 11 years old, police said Friday. Police weren't certain whether he had a lawyer, and no telephone number could be found at the Brooklyn address police provided.

His 3-year-old daughter, Tkai, was found unconscious late Wednesday in the family's apartment on Marcus Garvey Boulevard in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood. She was pronounced dead within an hour at a local hospital, and medical examiners determined blunt force trauma had killed her.

The city Administration for Children's Services took custody of three other children in the home and was investigating Tkai's death, spokeswoman Sharman Stein said. Authorities also were seen carting a dog out of the apartment.

MMVII The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Audio Content and Graphic Content MMVII WCBS-AM 880.

Rest in peace
Nixmary Brown

Death Of Young Girl In Brooklyn Ruled A Homicide
January 11, 2006

The Medical Examiner’s office says a 7-year-old girl who was found dead in her home in Brooklyn Wednesday was killed by a blow to the head after suffering from child abuse syndrome, and police are now ruling the death a homicide.

Nixmary Brown was found dead around 4:30 a.m. in her Bedford Stuyvesant home. Police say her mother, 27-year-old Nixaliz Santiago, told a neighbor to call 911 after she found her daughter unconscious.

Investigators say Brown suffered from child abuse syndrome and has an assortment of injuries, including bruises on her body, that appear to have been received over time.

Along with the signs of abuse, the ME says Brown was also severely underweight, weighing only 36 pounds.

Sources tell NY1 police found what are being described as "heinous and brutal" conditions in Brown's home, including a room and a chair where the girl was apparently tied up by her ankles and beaten.

Santiago and the victim’s stepfather, 27-year-old Ceasar Rodriguez, were taken to the 79th Precinct.

Police removed Santiago's five other children, ranging in age from 6 months to 9-years-old, and brought them to Woodhull Hospital for evaluation. They were placed in the custody of the Administration for Children's Services.

ACS says it had been investigating the family after receiving a report of abuse and neglect on December 1st.

There had been a previous report to ACS from the girl's school as far back as last fall, but the city agency ruled it unfounded. The school also had reported excessive absences from school last spring.

The ACS Commissioner says he is "deeply disturbed" by Nixmary's death. He says the agency is reviewing the family's case and that: “What will follow…is an overall strengthening of our system designed to protect children and support families. That review will and must go forward."

"ACS was called, someone alerted them, and they tried to do an investigation, obviously not fast enough,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “[ACS Commissioner] John Mattingly is looking at it, Overall, ACS does a very good job, but any tragedy, anyone that slips through is one too many."

Brown was the second oldest child in the family. She was in the second grade at nearby P.S. 256.
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NEW YORK (AP) -- There had been warning signs for years before 7-year-old Nixzmary Brown died from a vicious blow to the head.


Nixzmary Brown, 7, died after being repeatedly abused during her short life. She weighed 45 pounds.

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School employees had reported that she had been absent for weeks the previous year.

Neighbors noticed unexplained injuries and noted the child appeared underfed and small for her age.

Child welfare workers had been alerted twice but said they found no conclusive evidence of abuse.

Two years after the girl's death shocked the city, hastened child welfare reforms and made her name synonymous with child abuse, a jury was picked Wednesday to hear her stepfather's murder trial. Opening statements were to begin that afternoon.

Nixzmary's personal hell is likely to be exposed at trial through symbols of her horrific demise: the rope used to tether her to a chair, the cat-litter box she used as a toilet, the bathtub used to dunk her under cold water.

Authorities say evidence against her stepfather, Cesar Rodriguez, includes crime-scene photos inside the family's three-bedroom apartment and a videotape of the defendant casting blame on the malnourished victim, who weighed 45 pounds at the time of her death.

"Sometimes she used to get me real angry and I used to just throw her," Rodriguez said during a post-arrest interview made public during a family court hearing.

Prosecutor Ama Dwimoh has called it a case of torture. Nixzmary "was beaten repeatedly," Dwimoh said. "She was bound like an animal."

Rodriguez's defense attorney, Jeffrey Schwartz, has sought to blame Nixzmary's mother, who faces a separate trial, for fostering an environment of abuse, and an overburdened bureaucracy -- the city Administration for Children's Services -- for doing too little to stop it.

During jury selection, the lawyer has signaled he also plans to explore the dilemma of how best to discipline children.

Schwartz said outside court Wednesday that his client is guilty only of being "a strict disciplinarian" and reiterated claims that the mother was responsible. Once the jury hears the defense case, he said, "It's going to become very clear who the monster is here."

Opening statements -- delayed by a last-minute juror substitution -- were scheduled to start Wednesday afternoon.

The case, coupled with a series of high-profile deaths of children known to child welfare workers, sparked a public outcry for reform. City officials and lawmakers responded by bolstering the corps of caseworkers and drafting legislation to give life in prison without parole to parents who cause the death of a child under 14 through abuse.

Nixzmary's torment began making headlines shortly after January 1, 2006, when her mother reported that she found the girl unconscious around 4 a.m. in a home where she was raising five other children, ages 6 months to 9 years. Nixzmary was dead when authorities arrived.

Prosecutors allege that after the mother and Rodriguez were arrested, they found evidence Nixzmary had been confined to a ramshackle back room with the cat box. They also claim the stepfather incriminated himself by seeking to portray the victim as an unruly child who courted punishment by harassing her siblings and "always lying to me."

Rodriguez, 29, admitted on video that he restrained the girl "by putting duct tape on her hand and tying her to a chair."

On Nixzmary's final night, he said, she enraged him by stealing yogurt and trashing computer equipment. The punishment: holding her under cold water, just like his father had punished him. Investigators believe that in the process, he hit her head on a faucet, delivering the death blow.

"She was giving me a hard time, so I pounded her on her back," the stepfather said in his version. Later, he added, "I laid her naked on the bed and told my wife to leave her alone for a while."
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Xctasy Rest in Peace

Slipping through the cracks
An investigation into the child abuse of Xctasy Garcia
By ANNE MILLER and MIKE GOODWIN, Staff writers
Click byline for more stories by writer.
First published: Thursday, July 27, 2006

The little girl screamed and screamed, like she was dying. Her cries penetrated the walls of Reggie Belton's room at the Twins Motor Inn.

It was the last week in May, and Belton just wanted to watch the NBA playoffs on TV. But the cries made it hard to hear. He heard a man in Room 16 yell "Get in the corner!" Belton drifted off to sleep, but more screams woke him at about 2 a.m.

Finally, he couldn't take it any longer. He pounded on the door of Room 16. He thought he heard someone muzzle the child.

The next day, Belton told the motel's manager, who called county authorities. They said he should tell Belton to phone New York's child abuse hot line. Belton never did.

Two weeks later, the couple in Room 16 -- Delia Hernandez, 26, and her boyfriend, Jose Munoz, also 26 -- were charged with the attempted sale, torture and attempted murder of Hernandez's 4-year-old daughter, Xctasy Garcia. Xctasy's eyes were burned with bleach, her arm and shoulder fractured and her delicate body marred by cigarette burns and covered with bruises. Law enforcement officials believe Munoz targeted Xctasy because she was the child of his girlfriend's former lover.


Rest in Peace
Little CC


Nov 2006

Russell Roberts of Queens New York has pleaded guilty of viciously beating his 7-year-old daughter, nicknamed C.C., over two nights, by kneeing her over and over in the stomach, breaking her ribs, on one night and then beating her with his belt the next night, and then refusing to get her medical attention when it was obvious her health was failing.

Early reports state that the poor child tested positive for cocaine when she was born, had lived in foster care for a while, had been injured at least twice before (once with a broken leg and the second time with a broken back), and was still placed back in the custody of her father.

A neighbor had once seen the little girl with a bloodshot eye but the child had told her that she had run into a doorknob. While the neighbor had called protective services nothing ever seemed to have come of it. However, the woman knew things weren’t right in the Roberts house, “His daughter was afraid of him, you could tell.”

The neighbor described how the girl looked at her funeral:

“She looked old, beat up and worn out. She looked 30 years old, like they put makeup on her and stuffed her in a box.”

Certainly there was no doubt about little C.C. being beat up. She was failed first by her mother who took cocaine while pregnant, then by her father who beat her, then by social services which failed to protect her, and now the courts have failed her - daddy is only getting 10 years for murdering his daughter.

And folks…..the stories don’t end there. Today there were two other similar horror stories that broke:

Baby murdered in microwave

Murdering father only gets 5 years


Rest in Peace

A Brooklyn father went berserk and fatally plunged a kitchen knife into his 18-month-old girl's heart yesterday after stabbing her mother - all in front of two of her other young children, police and neighbors said.

"Help me!" shouted the wounded, blood-soaked mom, Natasha Martin, 32, as she carried her dying daughter outside in her arms and banged on a neighbor's window in Canarsie.

"She didn't know where the blood was coming from," said neighbor Veronica Cummings. "She was bleeding all over."

Cummings' daughter, Hallacy Knight, 23, sped the mother of four and the mortally wounded tot, Samara Palmer, to Brookdale University Hospital while Cummings watched Martin's sons, ages 4 and 5.

"They saw the whole thing," Cummings said. "The older one was throwing up and the little one was crying."

Moments earlier inside the baby's bedroom on Bedell Lane, Dwayne Palmer, 32, stabbed Martin's head, throat and back with a knife he had brought from his East New York home, cops and relatives said.

Palmer had wanted to take Samara back to his home, but Martin refused.

As Martin's sons cowered nearby, an enraged Palmer grabbed another knife from the kitchen and stabbed the baby at 1 a.m., cops and relatives said.

"She tried stopping him, but she was hurting from her own stabbing," said Martin's mom, Narissa Martin, 57.

Her tiny heart and left lung sliced by the blade, Samara died at Brookdale at 2:08 a.m.

Samara was just starting to speak her first words and take her first steps.

"She could say 'mama' and 'papa,'" Cummings said.

Hours later, Martin was in stable condition. "She's in pain," said Narissa Martin. "It's horrible, but we're trying to hang on right now."

Palmer fled but cops nabbed him later at his Hinsdale St. home, where he lives with his grandmother.

He was charged with second-degree murder, attempted murder and weapons possession, police said. He faces up to 25 years to life in prison, if convicted.

Palmer - whom friends said has a history of mental illness - has two sealed arrests for aggravated harassment and assault, police sources said.

In recent weeks, Natasha Martin complained to pals that Palmer wasn't taking his medication and was acting "paranoid" and more violent.

But Martin felt sorry for Palmer and couldn't bear to leave him - even ignoring an order of protection that she had filed a month or so ago, sources said.

Originally published on June 20, 2006


Former NYC child welfare worker sentenced for rape, incest

Associated Press Writer

March 1, 2007, 5:22 PM EST
NEW YORK -- A former employee of the city's child welfare agency who admitted having sex with his two daughters, one of their friends and the daughter of a girlfriend and co-worker was sentenced Thursday to 18 to 24 years in prison.

All the victims were underage when the defendant, a 42-year-old former supervisor at the Administration for Children's Services, began having sex with them, Assistant District Attorney Robert Ferrari said.

West New York, N.J. -WABC, Sept. 16, 2005) - It's a case that began as an abandoned baby investigation and has turned into something more sinister. Police have arrested the father of the 18-year-old accused of throwing her two newborns down an airshaft and charged him with aggravated rape.
Marcus Solis live on the scene in West New York with more.

Initially the teen claimed the babies had been fathered by two separate men but prosecutors now say she admits to years of sexual abuse by her father, who has since been arrested.

The teen is still charged with murder and attempted murder but her lawyer says this changes everything.

She appeared in court as a defendant, though prosecutors now say Lucila Ventura is a victim as well. Ventura was arrested Tuesday after police say she threw her newborn son down an airshaft of her West New York building.

It was then investigators found the mummified remains of a girl the 18-year-old had delivered a year-and-a-half ago. Today prosecutors charged her father - Jose Ventura - with aggravated sexual assault against his daughter, and say he is the father of the two babies.

Anthony Fusco, Lucila Ventura's Attorney: "We are now learning that this abuse may have started to occur when she was 13 or 14 years-old and continued on multiple occasions each week for years."

An investigation is still underway to determine if the teen acted alone or if her father knew or helped her dispose of the infants.

Ventura will undergo a psychiatric evaluation. Her lawyer says she's suffering from postpartum depression as well as effects of years of abuse, which he says no one else in the family knew about.

Anthony Fusco: "The father and Ms. Ventura has indicated no one else know about it, so the pressure on that young girl had to be immeasurable."

Lucila Ventura is being held on $250,000 bail, her father on $500,000 bail. She will be transferred to a state psychiatric facility for evaluation. That should happen by Monday.


September 29, 2006 — An elderly former screenwriter was sentenced to five years in prison yesterday for sexually violating a 5-year-old girl in her Lower East Side bedroom last year as her transsexual dad, who set up the tryst, sat, in drag, watching.

“Ariel Berlin, you are a sick, pathetic, disgusting old man,” the girl’s aunt said to the 73-year-old monster. “I hope you die - and rot in jail. And also in hell.”

Berlin, who lived on West 85th Street and whose lawyer said he was an uncredited screenwriter for “On the Waterfront,” had met the dad through a phone dating service.

Berlin expressed interest in seeing the girl after spotting her picture in the father’s home. The dad, now serving 15 years for repeatedly molesting the girl himself, obliged.


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