Mount Vernon parents accused of starving infant to death

WHITE PLAINS — Westchester County District Attorney Anthony Scarpino, Jr. announced Shanelle Straker and Henry Lantigua were arraigned last week in the death their six-week-old baby in the mother’s Mount Vernon home.

A Westchester County Grand Jury indicted them for criminally negligent homicide, felony and endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor. Bail was set at $5,000 cash or bond each.

On May 31, 2018, Mount Vernon Police and emergency services responded to 911 calls from the South 5th Avenue apartment where Shanelle Straker lived with her mother and her two children, including a newborn, Jessamine Lantigua, who was born April 16, 2018. Jessamine’s father, Henry Lantigua, lived nearby. On the 911 calls, each parent reported “an unresponsive child,” according to call records. On arrival, EMS found the infant unresponsive. They took the baby to Montefiore-Mount Vernon Hospital where she was pronounced dead. Medical and emergency personnel including EMS, the police and in the Emergency Room, noted the infant was emaciated and had a severe rash covering most of her body and her face.

The Medical Examiner declared the manner of death was homicide and the cause was undernourishment.

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