Homestead mother charged with daughter’s death, who had cocaine in system

HOMESTEAD, FLA. (WSVN) - A Homestead mother faced a judge, Monday, on charges related to the death of her daughter who was exposed to cocaine.

Roxanne Benales, 31, was charged with aggravated child abuse after her 1-month-old daughter, Ayla Cappas, was found dead in their home back on April 16.

An autopsy revealed the infant died due to asphyxia and had cocaine in her system, which sparked an investigation into her death.

Benales was taken into custody on Sunday after advising homicide investigators she would be returning to South Florida from Indianapolis, Indiana, on a Greyhound bus.

Back on June 20, Benales provided a statement to the Miami-Dade Police Department’s Homicide Bureau and admitted to smoking crack cocaine in the presence of her child prior to the death.

The Florida Department of Children and Families said in a statement, Monday, “Ayla’s death was deeply saddening for all of us at DCF. This family was known to the child welfare system; however, there are not any other children in the care of these two individuals at this time. The child protective investigation remains ongoing.”

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