MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A South Florida mother has been arrested in connection with the death of her son in West Miami-Dade on Thursday. Catalina Bruno is charged with aggravated manslaughter on a child under 18.
Miami-Dade Police say she confessed to leaving her 11-month-old child inside her car during the hottest time of the day.
Detective Alvaro Zabaleta told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench she confessed to the crime and said her son could have been in the baking car for anywhere between two and three hours.
“You’re looking at an 11-month-old baby trapped inside the car,” Zabaleta told D’Oench. “He can’t get out so he’s trapped inside the vehicle and temperatures inside the vehicle can rise very rapidly. We have done numerous stories educating the community about how temperatures rise so rapidly when the windows are closed and how dangerous that can become.”
Bruno is being held on $15,000 bond after a child neglect charge from 2012 was added to her current case.
She was going to appear before a Judge in bond court Friday afternoon but that was reset for Saturday morning.
Miami-Dade Homicide detectives began investigating the death of the nearly one-year-old Brian Miguel Osceola on Thursday afternoon after being called to the home at 1071 SW 150th Place in West Miami-Dade.
According to Miami-Dade County Police, Catalina put the baby in a car seat and drove home. She got out of the car, leaving the infant inside the vehicle and went into the house.
Police said Bruno was inside for “an undetermined amount of time,” but that the father, Amos Osceola, would later ask where the child was.
At that point, Bruno said she had not taken the infant out of the car and that he was still in the car.
Police said Osceola ran to the car and found the baby unresponsive and still in the car seat. Osceola pulled the child out of the car and ran him to a nearby fire station.
“Brian was transported to Kendall Regional Medical Center where his temperature was 109 degrees and that’s where he died,” said Zabaleta. “Investigators do have enough evidence to charge her with aggravated manslaughter of a child.”
CBS4 cameras captured a detective escorting Bruno from the home into an unmarked car before driving away.
Miami-Dade Police said the mother confessed after being read her rights and was taken into custody on the aggravated manslaughter charge.
The Department of Children and Families says there is a history with the family and court documents show Bruno has a prior charge of child neglect without harm and DUI accompanied by a minor.
Neighbors told CBS4 news the couple has two other children, but it’s unclear where they are at this time.
Neighbors told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench they were stunned.
“I feel really sad. It’s a child. It’s a baby,” said Mercedes Dimitroff. “I can’t believe it. She had two other children. I don’t understand the situation.”
“That’s bad. That’s bad,” said neighbor Mario Weller. “I hear about those things that happen all over the country once in awhile but I can’t understand it.”
Some of Bruno’s friends are also at a loss of words.
One friend, who identified herself as Maria Cadena, told D’Oench, “Yeah. I’m really surprised because she’s a good mom.”