An upstate New York woman was arrested after she starved her boyfriend's seven-year-old son to death and kept him hidden in a locked room.
Leticia Bravo, 39, of Newburgh, faces a second-degree murder charge in the starvation death of her boyfriend Arturo Cuacuas' son Peter Cuacuas, the Orange County District Attorney's Office said.
According to a press release, Bravo brought Peter's "lifeless body" to St. Luke's Hospital in Newburgh on Feb. 10 at approximately 8:00 a.m. Medical personnel pronounced the child dead shortly after arrival.
The Child was "Kept Secreted" Inside a Locked Bedroom
An autopsy conducted by the Orange County Medical Examiner concluded that that Peter, who weighed just 37 pounds, had died as a result of malnutrition. It is alleged that Bravo kept Peter locked and secreted in a bedroom behind a door that was locked from the outside.
Since January of 2021, Peter never logged on for virtual schooling, despite numerous conversations between Bravo and Peter's teachers and other school representatives.
Bravo became the primary caretaker of Peter and worked as a professional childcare provider. She is believed to be the girlfriend of Peter's father, Arturo. Prosecutors say that Bravo had the boy at her apartment every day except Saturday when Bravo and Peter would stay with his father.
"It is unthinkable that someone would accept the responsibility of caring for a child and then deny that child the basic necessities of life," said District Attorney David Hoovler.
"Children are the most innocent and vulnerable of victims. It is truly disturbing how this child was kept hidden from school authorities before he died. I thank the City of Newburgh Police Department, and the New York State Police for their ongoing investigation on this case."
Bravo faces 25 years to life in prison for the second-degree murder, and was also charged with manslaughter in the first and second degrees. She is due back in court later this month.
Arturo was also arrested last week and charged with criminally negligent homicide for his role in his son's death. He faces up to four years in state prison.