A three-year-old boy from Ormond Beach was found dead in a retention pond on Monday. A woman from Ormond Beach was arrested for his death.
Myra Santiago, who is 22 years old, is being charged with the felony crimes of aggravated manslaughter of a child and abuse of a child.
Around 2:15 p.m. on Sunday, a resident of an apartment complex on San Marco Drive called Ormond Beach police to say that he had found the boy in the pond behind his building.
According to Santiago’s police report, a neighbor’s security camera caught the child running past his door just before 7 a.m. and then heading toward the pond as the video ended.
According to the report, Santiago told police she left her son with a neighbor between 10 and 11 p.m. the night before, went to the Daytona Beach Boardwalk with a friend, and came back at 2 a.m. Sunday to get her son back from the neighbor.
She Never Saw Him Again
Santiago said that the boy came into her room around 6 a.m. and asked for his computer. After that, she said, she never saw him again. Santiago told police that when she woke up on Sunday at 1:45 p.m., she saw that her son wasn’t in the apartment. She said that was when she went to look for him and saw the tape around the crime scene.
When the cops asked Santiago’s neighbor if she had ever watched the child before Saturday night, she said no.
The tweet below verifies the news:
Police say Santiago claimed she left the child with a neighbor before going out, but the neighbor said that never happened. https://t.co/gBX5gsqSU8
— WFTV Channel 9 (@WFTV) April 25, 2023
Police later found text messages on Santiago’s phone that were sent to the neighbor asking her to lie to police about watching the boy after his body was found.
Investigators also found out that Santiago knew her son could leave the apartment on his own, but she didn’t get a child safety lock to stop him.
Police found that Santiago left the boy alone in the apartment for about eight hours, letting him get out and drown in the retention pond behind the building.
Santiago is in the Volusia County Jail because he can’t pay his bail.
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