New York prosecutors allege that a woman who is a childcare provider starved her boyfriend’s 7-year-old son to death earlier this year, charging her with second-degree murder.
39-year-old Leticia Bravo potentially faces 25 years to life in prison for the second-degree murder of Peter Cuacuas. The Orange County District Attorney’s Office has also charged the woman with manslaughter in the first and second degree.
Arturo Cuacuas, the boy’s father and Bravo’s boyfriend, has already been charged with criminally negligent homicide.
Prosecutors described that on February 10, Bravo brought Peter’s lifeless body to St. Luke’s Hospital in Newburgh, where the child was later pronounced dead. An autopsy conducted by the Orange County Medical Examiner’s Office found that the 7-year-old weighed 37 pounds at the time of his death and had died due to severe malnutrition.
Prosecutors alleged that Bravo, who became Peter’s primary caretaker in September 2020, kept the boy locked in a bedroom “behind a door that locked from the outside.” Authorities believed that Peter would stay with Bravo at her apartment in Newburgh every day except Saturday when Bravo and Peter would stay with Cuacuas at his apartment.
“It is unthinkable that someone would accept the responsibility of caring for a child and then deny that child the basic necessities of life,” District Attorney David Hoovler told CNN. “It is truly disturbing how this child was kept hidden from school authorities before he died.”