WEST MIAMI-DADE, Fla. (WSVN) — A South Florida couple were put behind bars Tuesday in connection to the death of the woman’s 2-year-old son last Thursday, a demise that, investigators said, came at the hands of her boyfriend.
Thirty-two-year-old Claude Alexis was arrested and charged with first degree murder and aggravated child abuse. Authorities later apprehended 22-year-old Cierrah Raphael, the mother of the dead toddler, and charged her with child neglect.
Investigators said Alexis was looking after 2-year-old Ezra Raphael Thursday night. Just after 11 p.m., police and fire rescue crews arrived at his residence, located at 15664 NE 10th Court in North Miami Beach, in response to a report of a sick and unresponsive child. Ezra, who was not Alexis’ son, was found unconscious on the dining room floor.
Paramedics rushed him to Jackson North Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.
Authorities said a preliminary investigation revealed bruises on Ezra’s back and body. A Medical Examiner’s autopsy later revealed the child’s death was due to homicide.
Investigators said Cierrah was at work at the time of the incident. A police report stated that she “repeatedly left the same child home completely uncared for and unattended.”
Police said the Department of Children and Families has been notified about the investigation, but DCF officials could not be reached for comment.
The couple remains behind bars at Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center in West Miami-Dade. Cierrah is being held on $7,500 bond. Alexis was denied bond.