Westchester Parents Charged With Criminally Negligent Homicide In Infant Death

Two parents in Westchester are facing charges for their roles in the death of their 6-week-old infant child.

The infant was found unresponsive in a South 5th Avenue apartment.
The infant was found unresponsive in a South 5th Avenue apartment. Photo Credit: Google Maps

Shanelle Straker, 37, and Henry Lantigua, 40, have been arraigned and charged for their role in the death of the infant in the mother’s Mount Vernon home, Westchester County District Attorney Anthony Scarpino, Jr., announced.

Both parents were charged by a Westchester County Grand Jury with criminally negligent homicide and endangering the welfare of a child. Bail has been set at $5,000 cash bail or bond.

On May 31 last year, first responders received multiple calls from a South 5th Avenue apartment, where Straker lived with her mother and two children, including Jessamine Lantigua, who was born on April 16 last year.

Scarpino said during the emergency 911 calls, each parent reported “an unresponsive child,” according to call records. Upon arrival at the apartment, paramedics found the infant unresponsive.

Paramedics took the baby to Montefiore-Mount Vernon Hospital where she was pronounced dead, Scarpino said. Medical and emergency personnel including paramedics and the police in the Emergency Room noted the infant was emaciated and had a severe rash covering most of her body and her face.  

According to the Medical Examiner, the infant’s death was a homicide, and the cause of death was undernourishment.

Straker and Lantigua are scheduled to appear back in court on Tuesday, Oct. 22.

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