Woman accused of beating toddler to death in Florida

DAVENPORT, Fla. (AP) — A woman is facing child abuse and manslaughter charges in the death of her 13-month-old boy, officials said.

Detectives with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office said Neidy Mendez-Gudine, 35, had called for help for an unresponsive boy at a home in Davenport, Florida, after she placed the baby on her bed and left the room to care for other children.

The baby was airlifted to a children’s hospital in Orlando with skull fractures, and doctors at the hospital found the injuries were due to trauma and not consistent with a fall, like the mother claimed.

The autopsy revealed he had suffered injuries in his skull, spine and neck consistent with being shaken, a sheriff’s office statement said Thursday. The doctor ruled it a homicide.

Mendez-Gudine was arrested Wednesday.

Jail records did not list an attorney for the woman. Besides the charges related to the child’s death, immigration authorities requested jail officials hold the woman for possible immigration violations.

The Polk County Sheriff Gardy Judd said it was the second arrest in less than two weeks for deaths of babies. Detectives arrested Kyle Reese, 26, on Jan. 8 in Lakeland in the death of a 2-month-old baby girl.

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