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Mom Accused of Strangling Baby to Death Blames It on Her 2-Year-Old Son

A mother from Oviedo, Florida, was arrested on murder charges Monday, November 14, three days after her 17-month-old was discovered with a string of Halloween lights wrapped around her neck — but she’s blaming the death on her 2-year-old son.

Kristen DePasquale called emergency dispatchers on November 10, claiming that she left her daughter, Mia, in the living room watching television on the couch with her son, while she showered, WESH-2 reported. When DePasquale returned, she said she discovered Mia unresponsive, wrapped in pumpkin-themed lights. She later stated that she heard her son apologizing for hurting his sister. “I need someone to come right now to my house. My daughter’s not breathing!” the 27-year-old is heard saying in a chilling 911 tape obtained by WESH 2. “Oh my god. I was gone for two seconds and I came out and she was not breathing.”

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According to a police report obtained by the Orlando Sentinel, police Detective Matthew DePanicis tried to revive Mia with CPR, but it was too late. The child was pronounced dead about an hour later at the hospital.

Kristen DePasquale
Kristen DePasquale

In the report, Detective Christopher George noted that several things didn’t add up: After authorities arrived, DePasquale’s shower and towel were both dry, her feet were dirty, and she was wearing makeup and jewelry. 

Medical examiner Marie Herrmann ruled Mia’s death a homicide, telling police that the little girl’s injuries appeared to be the result of more force than a toddler could have used, the Orlando Sentinel reported. She estimated that it would have taken four to six minutes to strangle the child with the lights.

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“No … two-year-old could do what was found on the child,” Lieutenant Heather Capetillo told WESH-2. “There is no possible way.” 

DePasquale’s defense attorney Tim Caudill described his client as “very upset … very emotional, very sad.”

The accused is being held without bail. Click Orlando reported that DePasquale’s 2-year-old was placed in the custody of a family member; his father is currently in prison on unrelated charges. 

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