The father of the baby boy allegedly smothered to death by his mother in the bathroom of a midtown burger restaurant says he can't make sense of why she would take their child's life.
"It's a nightmare, I'm waiting to wake up," Luis Fisher told NBC 4 New York Tuesday.
Fisher said he hasn't been able to speak to his wife, 35-year-old Latisha Fisher, since she was arrested Tuesday morning in the death of 20-month-old Gavriel Ortiz-Fisher.
"I was shocked," he said. "I was shocked that she could do that to my son."
Latisha Fisher allegedly told investigators who responded to the 5 Boro Burger restaurant at 36th Street and Sixth Avenue that "the devil made me do it."
The mother had brought her son into the bathroom at the eatery early Monday afternoon; the two were locked inside for about 25 minutes before concerned customers contacted restaurant workers, who used a key to get in. The employees found the unconscious toddler on his mother's lap and called 911.
He was taken to Bellevue Hospital in cardiac arrest and died, police said. The medical examiner's office will determine why he died.
Luis Fisher said he woke up with his wife Monday morning, and they hugged. Everything seemed fine, he said.
"I don't know what happened," he said.
Luis said police told him what happened when he got home from work Monday night. He was taken to the 7th Precinct station, and law enforcement sources told NBC 4 New York at the time he was very distraught.
"She's a happy mother, she would do anything for her kids. Anything," he told NBC 4 New York.
Neighbors at their Lower Manhattan home said they'd been aware of some problems in Latisha Fisher's past, but were unprepared for any act of violence, especially aimed at her son.
"You know a person from their past, but then when they improve, you don't think that anything else will happen," said Carolyn Lawson.
"Whenever I saw him, she was happy," she said. "She was going wherever she had to go, she would speak to everybody, we would speak to her. The baby was adorable."
"The baby was only a year and a half," said Josefina de Leon. "How could she do that to the baby?"
Latisha Fisher was still at Bellevue Hospital Tuesday and had not yet been arraigned.
It was not immediately clear if Latisha Fisher had an attorney. A spokesman for the Administration for Children's Services said in a statement that officials were launching an investigation but were limited in what they could discuss because of privacy laws.