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Queens Chronicle

Babysitter charged with homicide of 2-year-old

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Posted: Wednesday, November 27, 2019 10:30 am | Updated: 12:41 pm, Thu Dec 5, 2019.

The April death of 2-year-old Jason Alvarado has been ruled by the medical examiner as a homicide.

Police responded to a 911 call in the early hours of 12:30 a.m. on April 6 and observed Alvarado having difficulty breathing. He was transported in an unresponsive state to Cohen’s Children’s Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead six days later.

The police arrested and charged Lorena Iraheta, who was the child’s babysitter at the time of the incident, which occurred inside her home. The 24-year-old admitted to shaking the toddler in efforts to keep him from falling asleep. According to the criminal complaint, after shaking Alvarado and allowing his head to roll, Iraheta sat him on a table, from which he fell to the floor and banged his head. She stood him up and handed him a tablet device, but he repeatedly collapsed. Iraheta called Alvarado’s mother and requested that she pick up her child because he looked ill and had fainted, but did not admit to shaking him.

A neurosurgeon and attending doctor at Cohen’s Children’s Hopsital observed multiple injuries on the child’s cranium, including a large, subdural hematoma on the right side of Alvarado’s brain, a smaller subdural hematoma on the left side of the brain, brain swelling with a midline shift, elevated intercranial pressure, brain herniation, active bleeding, a dilated right pupil and retinal hemorrhages.

The medical examiner confirmed that Alvarado died from traumatic head injury consistent with the surgical findings and with Iraheta’s confession.

On May 7, Iraheta was charged with manslaughter, reckless assault, acting in a manner injurious to a child less than 17 years old and manslaughter in the second degree.

The police officially reported the incident as a homicide on Friday, Nov. 22. When asked why the ruling was announced over six months after the initial charges, an NYPD spokesperson said it was an administrative move.

The investigation remains ongoing, the department’s press office added.

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