Woman charged with murder for allegedly starving boyfriend’s seven-year-old

Youngster weighed just 37lbs at time of his death from malnutrition

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Sunday 10 October 2021 20:04 BST
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A New York woman was arrested for allegedly locking her boyfriend’s seven-year-old son in a bedroom and starving him to death.

Leticia Bravo, 39, was responsible for looking after the boy at her apartment in Newburgh, New York, everyday except Saturday when she and Peter Cuacuas would stay with his father.

Prosecutors says that she locked the youngster “behind a door that locked from the outside”.

Peter stopped logging into his school’s online classes in January, and on 10 February she brought his “lifeless body” to St Luke’s hospital in Newburgh, where he was later pronounced dead.

An autopsy showed that Peter weighed just 37 pounds at the time of his death from malnutrition.

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

“It is truly disturbing how this child was kept hidden from school authorities before he died.”

And he added: “We have one person responsible for the condition that sets everything in motion that leads to Peter’s death and you have another person that saw it happening while it was going on and should have known to take some action and didn’t.”

Bravo faces 25 years to life in prison for the second-degree murder, and was also charged with manslaughter in the first and second degrees.

Arturo Cuacuas, Peter’s father, was also charged with criminally negligent homicide.

Bravo, who prosecutors say worked as a professional childcare provider, remains in custody in the Orange County Jail pending bail, according to the DA’s office.

She is due back in court later this month.

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