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Davenport woman arrested after baby dies from brain bleeding and skull fractures, deputies say

Neidy Mendez-Gudine, 35, is charged with aggravated child abuse and manslaughter.
Credit: Polk County Sheriff's Office

DAVENPORT, Fla. — The Polk County Sheriff's Office arrested a woman Wednesday in connection with the death of a 13-month-old boy.

Neidy Mendez-Gudine, 35, is charged with aggravated child abuse and manslaughter.

According to an arrest report, last Friday, deputies and paramedics responded to a home in response to an unresponsive baby who was reported by Mendez as "choking and not breathing." 

Deputies say Mendez told first responders she had put the baby on her bed and left the room to care for other children. The report states she claimed, when she went back to the room 15 minutes later, the child was unresponsive on the floor.

The baby was airlifted to an Orlando hospital with skull fractures and subdural hemorrhaging.

He was declared brain dead and died the next day.

Doctors at Arnold Palmer Children's Hospital said the baby's injuries were traumatic and not consistent with falling off a bed. 

An autopsy determined the injuries were consistent with being shaken. According to police, in addition to the subdural hemorrhaging at the top of the skull and spine, the baby also had two skull fractures.

Investigators say a witness told detectives he thought Mendez threw the baby.

 “This is the second horrific incident in a matter of weeks where an adult has killed a baby for whom he or she has been charged with caring," said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the families who are suffering these unthinkable losses. We will do everything in our power to ensure this suspect is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, and that she never has access to children again."

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