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Parents Charged In Shocking Starvation Death Of Philadelphia Girl

Suspects Carlos Rivera and Carmen Ramirez. (credit: Philadelphia Police Department)

Suspects Carlos Rivera and Carmen Ramirez. (credit: Philadelphia Police Department)

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The parents of a three-year-old Philadelphia girl, who only weighed 11 pounds at the time of her death, have been charged with murder.

Carmen Ramirez and Carlos Rivera, parents of Nathalyz Rivera, have been charged in her murder. Rivera weighed only 11 pounds when she died.

Wearing bio-hazard suits and masks Monday, crime scene investigators tried to search the West Oak Lane home of the three-year-old. (See Related Story)

Once inside, however, investigators found the home strewn with trash. They said it was so filthy and deplorable they actually had to call in the fire department to use their ladder to take pictures from the outside.

Officials say Nathalyz Rivera weighed only 11 pounds when she was admitted to Einstein Medical Center overnight Sunday into Monday. A normal three-year-old weighs 25 to 36 pounds.

Philadelphia Homicide Captain James Clark called it one of the worst cases of child malnutrition he has ever seen.

Clark said the severely disabled girl was not given a fighting chance.

“They hadn’t taken her to see any type of medical personnel in well over a year,” Clark said.

Clark added that the Sommers Road home was infested.

“We believe she has some bruises and things of that nature, but that may have been from fleas or insects or rodents biting her.”

Investigators say the girl, who had severe disabilities, was brought to the hospital by a private vehicle and died about 2 a.m., shortly after being admitted to the emergency room. Investigators say the young girl died from starvation.

Capt. Clark said the girl’s father, after noticing the girl was unresponsive, called the girl’s mother rather than 911 before bringing the girl to the hospital.

Investigators say the 30-year-old Rivera was taken into custody at Front Street and Duncannon Avenue without incident Monday.

Both Rivera and Ramirez have been charged with Third Degree Murder, Involuntary Manslaughter, Conspiracy and Endangering the Welfare a Child.

Rivera was arraigned Tuesday morning. He is being held without bail and his next court date is scheduled for September 25. Ramirez is expected to be arraigned Tuesday afternoon.

The couple’s four other children — ages nine, eight, seven, and a twin of the three-year-old girl who died — were placed in the custody of children’s welfare services.

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