Westchester County

Westchester Girl, 2, Who Died Was Supposed to Be Removed From Mom's Care a Day Earlier, Lawyer for Dad Says

What to Know

  • Police are investigating the death of a toddler in a Mamaroneck home as a homicide, a source says
  • The 2 1/2 year old girl was found unresponsive when police responded to a 911 call
  • The mother was shot by police after she attacked them with a knife, police say

The 2 1/2 year-old girl who died after police found her unconscious in a Westchester County home for the weekend was supposed to be removed from her mother's care a day earlier after a judge issued an order to transfer custody, an attorney for the girl's father tells News 4 New York. 

Mamaroneck police had gone to the Chestnut Avenue home on Friday to remove Gabriella Maria Boyd, 2, from her mother's custody. A judge had issued an order to transfer custody from the mother, 28-year-old Cynthia Arce, to the father after learning she was growing more unstable and might want to harm herself, according to Martin Rosen, the attorney for Gabriella's father.

The father has been fighting for custody of Gabriella for the last two years, and after the judge issued the order, police went to the home on Chestnut Avenue to execute the warrant. But Arce, who suffers from bipolar disorder and substance abuse issues, according to Rosen, refused to comply.

Police told Rosen that they had "some doubts whether they had the authority to enter the house to arrest her," he said. 

Rosen said the district attorney's office also indicated they could not help with a civil matter. In the end, the girl's grandmother called 911 the next afternoon, and police say they were forced to shoot the girl's mother because she attacked them with a knife, and a stun gun failed to subdue her. 

Gabriella died at the hospital. It's not clear how she died, but a source familiar with the investigation tells News 4 the case is considered a homicide. 

"Someone needs to be held accountable," said Rosen, adding the girl's father is "coming apart at the seams." 

Village police said the mother injured two of the officers, and two others were taken to the hospital for evaluation. All four are expected to survive their injuries. 

The mother remains hospitalized in critical condition. Village police said in a statement that the officers "acted within departmental guidelines and training" and that it appears to be an isolated incident. 

No charges have been announced in the case. 

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