Authorities say a 7-year-old boy from New York State was locked in a bedroom and his father’s girlfriend starved to death while the boy was in her care.
Leticia Bravo, 39, the boy’s primary caregiver, has been charged with second-degree murder and first- and second-degree murder after an autopsy, the Orange County District Office said. News in progress Friday
Bravo, who provides professional childcare, is accused of killing Peter Cocoas, the son of his boyfriend Arturo Cocoas, in February. A medical examination revealed that the boy weighed only 37 pounds when his lifeless body was brought to a Newburgh hospital on February 10, 2021.
Bravo became the primary caregiver for the victim in September 2020. According to the prosecution, the boy was kept “secret” every day in a closed room without food in the woman’s apartment in Newburgh, except on Saturdays when Peter and Bravo stayed with their father. Law and crime were reported.
District Attorney David Howler said it is incomprehensible for someone to take responsibility for the child’s care and then deny the child the basic necessities of life. “Children are the most innocent and victimized. It’s really disturbing how this child was hidden from school authorities before he died,” Howler added.
Peter was barred from attending online classes from January 2021 until his teachers and other school administrators contacted Bravo on several occasions.
Investigators also arrested Arturo Cocoas on charges of criminal negligence for his role in his son’s death. Arturo and Bravo were both held in the Orange County Jail and were due to appear in court on October 26.
If convicted, Bravo faces up to 25 years in prison, while Arturo faces up to four years in state prison.
“Today is about justice for Peter Cocoas. Our children are our weakest community members. This is a devastating case for our entire community, which I know has been frustrated by no arrests in the last eight months. “This has affected our department, especially those involved in the investigation,” said Jose A. Gomez, a longtime City of Newburgh police commissioner.