Stripper Mom Charged After Toddler Dies In Fire

| by Nicholas Roberts
Fire at Aquino's Brooklyn ApartmentFire at Aquino's Brooklyn Apartment

A mother in Brooklyn whose toddler died in an apartment fire while she went to work at a nightclub in Queens has been indicted by a grand jury.

Leila Aquino, 20, will face counts of criminally negligent homicide, reckless endangerment, and endangering the welfare of a child in the Feb. 23 death of her daughter, Kaleenah Muldrow, according to the New York Post.

Aquino was returning to her home at roughly 7 a.m., after a night of working at the Gentleman's Club, when she saw firefighters at her apartment.

The child's body was discovered at roughly 8 a.m. that day, and Aquino was originally charged with reckless endangerment and child endangerment, according to NBC.

Aquino had been complained about to New York City's Administration for Children's Services three times prior to the death of her child, but each of the three anonymous complaints had been determined to be unfounded.

The first complaint was about the state of Aquino's apartment in February 2015, but caseworkers found no problem with it.  The agency received another tip about possible neglect 3 months later, but this was also checked out and cleared.

The last tip came this year, when the agency was told that Aquino was working as a prostitute and failing to provide for her daughter.  A caseworker dispatched to Aquino's apartment saw no evidence of physical violence on the girl, witnessed Aquino playing dress-up with her daughter and thought they seemed genuinely bonded with each other.  The caseworker determined that there was no neglect.

Deputy Mayor Herminia Palacio said of the case:

"Sometimes tragedies happen, and there was no red flag that could have really tipped us off on how to prevent this."

Sources: New York Post, NBC / Photo credit: Gregory P. Mango/New York Post

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