SOUTHWEST MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Alvaro Cappas sobbed on the front walk of his Southwest Miami-Dade home Sunday afternoon.
Nearby, under a yellow tarp, laid the body of his not quite two-month-old daughter, Ayla.
The child perished, the father told CBS4 News, as she slept with him and her mother, Roxanne Benales, in the parents’ bed at their home on S.W. 268th Street.
“I woke up in the morning and she wasn’t breathing. She was all pale and purple,” Cappas told CBS4’s Gary Nelson. “I tried to give her CPR and she wouldn’t come back.”
The father raced with his lifeless child to the front yard and hailed a passing police officer. It was too late. The mother said she brought the crying baby to the parents’ bed.
“She doesn’t like to sleep in her crib. She cries. It’s uncomfortable for her,” said Roxanne Benales. “I covered her up, I put her on my chest, she fell asleep. And I guess, in the middle of the time, she had rolled over.”
Benales saw the baby face down in the bedding.
She continued, “I woke up and I seen her and I said, baby, baby, baby, to my fiancée, wake up, wake up, wake up, what’s wrong? What’s wrong?”
The father said the baby was apparently smothered.
“I think her mom might have bundled, swaddled her up too much with a blanket or something to keep her warm, and she suffocated,” Cappas said.
The father and mother were kept apart as Miami-Dade Police began their investigation.
“They have her sitting in cop cars, like if we were criminals, because they don’t want us next to each other,” Cappas said.
As investigators arrived, so did loved ones, some collapsing in grief over the sudden death of little Ayla Cappas, just a few days shy of two months old. Three other children lived at the home with the couple.
Miami-Dade Police would not comment on the case except to say it is an ongoing death investigation.