Baby dies in care of 8-year-old

Dec. 10, 2009 at 7:43 PM
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NEW YORK, Dec. 10 (UPI) -- A New York couple whose baby son died while left in the care of an 8-year-old sibling have been charged with endangering the welfare of a child, officials say.

Denise Gonzalez, 29, and Rafael Colon, 42, could face more serious charges once investigators determine how their son died, Joseph Tillman, an assistant district attorney in Brooklyn, said Wednesday. Tillman said the couple did not have to go to a Target store 11 miles from their home in the Bushwick neighborhood, leaving five children with no adult supervision, the New York Daily News reported.

The couple were away from home for three hours Monday evening, Tillman said. They found the baby, Major Colon, with a bruise on his head and trouble breathing. He died at Brookdale University Hospital.

Arleen Ralph, Gonzalez's lawyer, said her client was guilty mainly of a "lapse in judgment" and said she did not trust Colon to buy items like diapers. Colon's lawyer, Bob Orlando, said his client thought his wife had found someone older to watch the children.

Gonzalez, a mother of 10, has been the subject of investigations for alleged neglect and abuse in New York and New Jersey, the News said.

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