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Three-month-old baby girl dies in NYC refugee shelter

Police said there were no signs of trauma on the girl’s body and the death did not appear suspicious

Martha McHardy
Tuesday 23 January 2024 13:54 GMT
Eric Adams announces lawsuit against transport companies who bused migrants to New York

An investigation has been launched after a baby was found dead in an emergency refugee shelter in New York City.

Officers were called to the scene in Long Island City in Queens, New York shortly before 3pm on Sunday, the NYPD said, where they found a three-month-old girl unconscious and unresponsive.

Emergency medical services then took the child to Mount Sinai Queens Hospital in Astoria, where she was pronounced dead.

The infant had suffered an apparent cardiac arrest, according to local reports.

Police told ABC7 that there were no signs of trauma on the girl’s body and the death did not appear suspicious.

The medical examiner will determine the cause of death.

Queens County Inn and Suites in Long Island City (Google)

The child had been housed at the Queens County Inn and Suites in Long Island City, a spokesperson for the city’s Department of Social Services told Gothamist.

The hotel is being used as an emergency shelter, the spokesperson added.

Maybeli Fuentes, a cleaner working there, told Gothamist that the hotel is mainly used to house New Yorkers, but some migrants have also been staying there.

Ms Fuentes added that the deceased girl was the child of Ecuadorian migrants who have two other children and have been living in New York City for about a year, Gothamist reported.

She also noted a Venezuelan man had died by suicide at the hotel, according to Gothamist.

In 2021, the Queens County Inn and Suites hotel was ranked by a pest control company as having the “highest” risk of bedbugs among New York City hotels, receiving 36 complaints since 2004, according to Patch.

“Protecting the health and safety of our clients is our top priority, and non-profit provider staff responded immediately when this incident was reported to ensure appropriate medical support,” a spokesperson for the Department of Social Services said. “Our deepest condolences go out to all who have been impacted, and we stand ready to provide the family with every support we can during this incredibly difficult time.”

The Independent has contacted Queens County Inn and Suites for comment.

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