A woman in Chicago has been arrested and charged with starving her four-year-old son to death and then burning his body, reports say.
Authorities said 27-year-old Alyssa Garcia forced her son, Manuel Aguilar, to live in a locked storage room, where he was left naked, beaten, and starved. He eventually died from the abuse. Police say the room was filthy and smelled of human feces and urine.
“They [sic] boy was often made to remain completely naked because he would urinate on himself. They described the child as being so skinny that his ribs were showing,” assistant state’s attorney Jamie Santini told the media.
Santini also stated that the child was so abused, police initially thought they discovered an infant’s body, as opposed to a four-year-old.
“Based on the initial observations of the body of the 4-year-old, investigators initially believed they found the body of an infant that was approximately 9 months of age,” Santini said.
Garcia allegedly panicked when the boy died from the abuse, and tried to burn the body to dispose of the evidence. Police said she told them she became afraid she would lose custody of her other children, ages ten, eight, and six. Garcia also recently gave birth to twins and feared losing them.
The woman was apprehended when police reportedly caught her trying to burn the body with lighter fluid in an abandoned building.
Police are also charging the woman’s 17-year-old boyfriend and the boyfriend’s 19-year-old brother, Christian Camerena, who were allegedly found helping with the burning.
The medical examiner’s office is still examining the boy’s body to determine the exact cause of death.
The suspect’s bond was set at $2 million, and Camerena’s bond was set at $1 million. Information on the boyfriend’s case is not being released since he is a minor.
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