Father of 7-Year-Old NY Boy Who Died of Starvation to Appear in Court

A nearly 8-month investigation led prosecutors to bring criminal charges against two adults in the "starvation death" of 7-year-old Peter Cuacuas

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A New York father charged with negligent homicide for his role in his 7-year-old son's death is expected to appear in court on Thursday.

Arturo Cuacuas allegedly left his son Peter Cuacuas in the care of his girlfriend, 39-year-old Letitia Bravo, when she brought "lifeless" Peter to Montefiore St. Luke's Cornwall Hospital in Newburgh back on Feb. 10. The young boy weighed only 37 pounds and he had died of starvation, the Orange County medical examiner revealed earlier this month.

Investigators released grim details on Oct. 8 following an 8-month investigation into Peter's death. Authorities said Bravo had become the boy's primary caretaker sometime after the start of school in September 2020. She allegedly watched after Cuacuas six days a week and kept him locked in a bedroom since January.

"Peter never logged on for virtual schooling, despite numerous conversations between Bravo and Peter’s teachers and other school representatives," a release from the investigators said.

At least one day each week it's believed that the boy's father had custody or was visiting with his son. As told by the police and prosecutor, Bravo was responsible for the 7-year-old's deteriorating condition but his father did not appropriately intervene.

Cuacuas was charged with Criminally Negligent Homicide while Bravo, who prosecutors said had worked as a child-care provider, faced murder and manslaughter charges.

"[Arturo Cuacuas] knew or should have known the condition was worsening and should have taken action to do something about it," Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler said at a press conference.

Hoovler took a few minutes in the press conference to defend the length of the investigation, saying that COVID obstacles and staffing shortages added to the already laborious time of conducting interviews, running DNA and other aspects of a death investigation.

Attorney information for either defendant was not immediately known.

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