A NYC woman was arrested by U.S. Marshals in Alabama on Thursday and charged in the death of her five-year-old son in Queens last year.
The child, identified as Michael Guzman, was found unresponsive and unconscious inside a home on 109 Avenue in Jamaica, Queens on the afternoon of Sunday, January 22nd, 2017. He was pronounced dead at an area hospital, and his death was ultimately deemed a homicide in December of 2017. At that time police sought his mother, 31-year-old Phyllis Reinoso for questioning, and the investigation ultimately resulted in her arrest this morning in Alabama, where she has reportedly been residing.
Guzman died after a fatal amount of phenobarbituates, a medicine often prescribed to control seizures, NY1 reports.
Reinoso faces a myriad of charges, including manslaughter, assault, reckless endangerment, and acting in a manner injurious to a child less than 17. According to the criminal complaint obtained by ABC 7, "Guzman was first under-medicated, leading to the assault charge. A few months before his death, Reinoso allegedly did not provide enough medicine and then did not bring Guzman to hospital as her doctor instructed." ABC 7 also reports:
Authorities say he had been given epilepsy medication the night before, after his parents had left the house to visit a nearby friend. The boy was left at home with his five brothers and sisters, the oldest being 15 years old. Prosecutors say Reinoso instructed her 11-year-old daughter, by phone, to administer the boy's second dose of anti-seizure medication for epilepsy.
His parents then did not disturb him for most of Sunday because they thought he was sleeping, they told detectives. When they finally checked on him, his body was lifeless and cold.
Pix 11 reports that there was a history of domestic violence in the home and that Administration for Children's Services had a history at the address.
In an email to Gothamist, an ACS spokesperson said, "Our top priority is protecting the safety and wellbeing of all children in New York City. When this fatality occurred in January 2017, ACS launched an investigation and immediately took action to secure the safety of the children in this home."
Reinoso's arrest comes after recent data revealed that reports and investigations of child abuse increased after the deaths of six year-old Zymere Perkins and three year-old Jaden Jordan in late 2016. City spending on ACS investigative staff also increased in the wake of these tragedies, totaling $127.8 million.