In September, two Philadelphia parents were charged with the third-degree murder of their three year old daughter Nathalyz Rivera.
Young Nathalyz, who suffered from an unknown genetic condition that left her partially blind and unable to walk, died of starvation. Authorities discovered the girl was dead when her mother simply brought her dead, emaciated body to the local hospital.
Nathalyz weighed 11 pounds at the time of her death. She was clearly starved -- her protruding bones made that much clear. But law enforcement found much more wrong upon inspecting the couple’s home.
After entering the home of parents Carmen Ramirez and Carlos Rivera, authorities found themselves wading through layers of trash on the floor. Bugs were crawling everywhere. The ceiling and walls were ridden with holes. The only bit of food in the house was an old half-gallon of milk. The deplorable conditions left Philadelpia Homicide Captain James Clark shaken up inside.
"This is one of the worst cases of abuse that I've seen in my five years on the homicide unit. Very sad and very disturbing," Clark said.
Yesterday, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that new charges have been leveled against mother Carmen Ramirez. In addition to leaving her young daughter to die, Ramirez has been charged with three counts of felony theft. Prosecutors revealed that Ramirez took the over $2,000 a month she was given in government aid for her children and spent it on herself.
Father Carlos Rivera testified that Ramirez was gone from home all the time and spent the family’s government aid on partying with her new boyfriend. Meanwhile, he would leave the house for days at a time working on small jobs around town.
"The money was provided by the government for the care of the children," Assistant District Attorney Gwenn Cujdik said. "But there is clear evidence that these children were not cared for in any sense of the word."
Ramirez and Rivera have two other children in addition to deceased Nathalyz. One was so anemic at the time of children’s discovery that authorities believe she would have died within months. The other remains hospitalized with behavioral problems.