Newburgh woman charged with murder in starvation death of child

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Peter Cuacuas

GOSHEN – The 39-year-old girlfriend of seven-year-old Peter Cuacuas’ father has been charged with murder in connection with the starvation death of the child in her Newburgh apartment.

The child, who weighed only 37 pounds, was brought to Montefiore St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital shortly before 8 a.m. on February 10, 2021. He was pronounced dead a short time later.

It is believed that Peter would stay with Leticia Bravo at her William Street apartment in Newburgh during every day but Saturday, when Bravo and the child would stay with his father at Arturo Cuacuas’ apartment.

It is alleged that Bravo kept Peter locked and hidden in a bedroom behind a door that locked from the outside. Since January 2021, Peter never logged on for virtual schooling, despite several conversations between Bravo and Peter’s teachers and other school representatives.

Bravo, who had worked as a child-case provider, was charged with murder and manslaughter and faces 25 years to life in prison on the murder charge.

Young Peter’s father was charged with criminally negligent homicide for his role in Peter’s death.

“It is unthinkable that someone would accept the responsibility of carrying for a child and then deny that child the basic necessities of life,” said District Attorney David Hoovler.

“Today is about justice for Peter Cuacuas,” said Newburgh Police Commissioner Jose Gomerez. “Our children are our most vulnerable community members. This is a devastating case for our entire community, who I know were frustrated over the past eight months with no arrest being made. This has been a lengthy and emotional case that has affected or department, specifically those involved in the investigation.”