Kinjal Patel of New Haven charged in connection with the death of a 19-month-old child.
NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) -
A woman in New Haven was arrested in connection with the death of a 19-month-old child she was babysitting, according to police.
Kinjal Patel, 27, was charged with first-degree manslaughter and risk of injury to a child, police said.
Yale-New Haven Hospital's Pediatric Emergency Department informed the police department of a risk of injury complaint on Jan. 16. The staff reported that 19-month-old Athiyan Sivakumar's skull had been severely fractured.
Doctors told police that the injuries were life-threatening. Officers said they were dispatched to the child's home on Weybosset Street as the boy went into surgery. They said they secured the home as a potential crime scene.
Police said the boy died from internal bleeding and a skull fracture on Jan 19. The Chief Medical Examiner concluded that the death was a homicide caused by blunt force.
"Any homicide is a tragedy," said Chief Dean Esserman of the New Haven Police Department. "None, however, is more tragic than that of an innocent young child. His death was senseless and has affected us deeply".
Detectives interviewed Patel on Jan 22. She admitted to them that she was babysitting the boy.
At first, according to court records, Patel told police the baby woke up convulsing. Then she changed her story to say the little boy slipped on the wet kitchen floor.
Patel later called police back and said she wanted to tell the truth.
In a followup interview, Patel told them she became angry and forced the child. Kinjal demonstrated that she grabbed the victim and violently slammed his feet up and down on the kitchen floor approximately three times.
Then she grabbed the victim's cheeks on both sides with her fingers and forcefully shook his head back and forth. She then told police she pushed the victim's face and he fell backwards, hitting his head on the kitchen floor.
Patel told police she did it because the child was spitting food and water at her. In court records, she was quoted as saying to the baby, "Why don't you listen to me? I am the one who is always watching you."
Patel said the child began to cry and convulse. Patel then phoned the child's father, who took the boy to the hospital, according to detectives.
The woman, who lives downstairs, told police on the day in question that she heard a loud banging upstairs. Police said they believe that banging was the sound of the crime in progress.
"I am proud of the thorough work done by detectives," Esserman said. "Long hours went into solving this case, and I am grateful to those involved."
Patel was being held on a $1 million bond after she was arraigned at New Haven Superior Court on Monday.
Patel's public defender told Eyewitness News she's married or has a boyfriend, but nobody was in court with her on Monday. The attorney also said she was very afraid and was seen trembling in court.
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