A 27 year old Florida mom, Kristen De Pasquale, has been charged with murder in connection with the death of her 1-year-old daughter, who police say was found with Halloween lights wrapped around her neck.
De Pasquale called 911 Thursday evening, claiming her 2-year-old son, Michael, choked his infant sister Mia Rice, to death with the string of Halloween lights while she was taking a shower in the master bathroom. She said:
“I was taking a shower and my kids were out here playing and I came out and her like, I have the Halloween lights and it was wrapped around her neck. I was gone for two seconds!”
De Pasquale said she desperately tried to revive the child but couldn’t.
Police say the child was discovered in a crouched position but with her feet on the floor.
Police Sgt. Matthew DePanicis also tried to revive the infant with CPR but she was pronounced dead an hour later at the Emergency Room.
Oviedo Police detective Christopher said their suspicions began when they checked the shower floor and it was dry. The towels she claimed to have used after she got out of the bathroom was also dry, indicating she was not in the shower when baby Mia was strangled. She also had full make up on, jewelry and her feet were dirty.
In addition, the Volunsia county medical examiner in Orlando, Marie Herrman said a toddler like Michael does not have the physical strength to strangle his baby sister.
The accused mom looked dazed when she appeared in court Monday.
She said only a single word.
The judge asked her: “Do you have any questions about your appearance here today?”
“No,” she replied.
The shocked judge said: “No? Good luck, Ma’am. I feel for you.”
De Pasquale was held without bail.
Her attorney, Tim Caudill, refused to comment on whether she was innocent or guilty.
“This is a terrible tragedy for everyone involved,” Caudill told the Orlando Sentinel. “She’s very upset. She lost a child, a child she loved very much.”
Michael was placed in the custody of a family member. The father of the children is currently serving time in prison on unrelated charges.