The home health aide of a murdered Staten Island man with the words “I touch little girls” written on his chest was taken into police custody hours after his body was found, but the charges are unrelated to homicide.
A law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation says 28-year-old Renee Ayarde, who took care of 80-year-old Robert Raynor and lived with him, was caught beating her 3-year-old daughter. She's not a suspect in Raynor's killing but she has been charged with child abuse.
According to the criminal complaint, witnesses saw Ayarde "pick up a young child and drop the child to the concrete" and "throw a full water bottle at the child's face."
When someone attempted to call for help, Ayarde allegedly said "are you calling the police? Give me your phone" before knocking the witness to the ground. When police arrived, they saw bruising to the young girl's neck as well as old injuries to her knees, face and cheek, all in various states of healing.
Her daughter told police: "I was outside and mommy threw me on the floor."
All of this happens just as police begin to comb over evidence in Raynor's murder. Police have said Raynor has no history of sex crime and he wasn't a registered sex offender. His daughter has also defended him, telling the NY Daily News that he could never molest children.
A spokesperson for the Office of Chief Medical Examiner said Wednesday that Raynor died from blunt trauma to his head and torso, ruling his death a homicide. Aside from the disturbing message scrawled on his chest, Raynor had the words "I touch" written on one foot, police sources said.
"I was coming out of the house, and before I went out the door I just turned around and I see the body," said the man who made the disturbing discovery. He said he didn't see the message that sources said was written across his chest.
An investigation remains ongoing and no arrests have been made in connection to Raynor's death.
Meanwhile, Ayarde was charged with two counts of assault and one count of child endangerment.