What to Know
- A woman who has been charged with murder for the mysterious death of her two-year-old daughter made her first court appearance Tuesday
- Cynthia Arce was arrested for attacking officers who tried to help her daughter after they found her unconscious; she pleaded not guilty
- Arce had been court-ordered to hand the toddler over to her father, Stephen Boyd, the day before the girl’s death, but refused to do so
A Westchester woman who has been charged with murder in the mysterious death of her two-year-old daughter made her first court appearance on Tuesday and pleaded not guilty.
Cynthia Arce was arrested this past spring for attacking two police officers who tried to help her daughter, Gabriella Maria Boyd, after they found the toddler unconscious in Arce’s Mamaroneck home.
The toddler later died and Arce was charged with murder for her death, although the medical examiner couldn’t determine how she died.
Arce had been court-ordered to hand the toddler over to her father, Stephen Boyd, the day before the girl’s death, but refused to do so. Boyd and Arce had been in a two-year-long custody battle for Gabriella before she died.
Boyd appeared in court, but declined to speak with the media after Arce’s appearance, saying he was “full of emotion right now.”
Arce’s defense attorney on Tuesday questioned the basis for the murder charge and requested a trial delay.
"We have a medical examiner who is now determined that this was a homicide, not based on anything that discovered based on her examination of the body, so that does concern me," said Richard Portale, Arce's attorney.
Portale added that his client was taking prescription medication at the time, and it may have affected her state of mind. Portale said he expects to make a motion for a psychiatric defense, and has said she suffered from postpartum psychosis.