A Brooklyn, N.Y., mother has been indicted on multiple charges by a grand jury after her 2-year-old daughter died in an apartment fire while she was out working, the New York Post reports.
Leila Aquino, 20, will now face charges of criminally negligent homicide, reckless endangerment and endangering the welfare of a child in the wake of her daughter Kaleenah Muldrow’s death in an apartment fire Feb. 23.
According to the Post, Aquino arrived at her home in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood at 6:45 a.m. after working her shift at the Cityscapes Gentleman’s Club in the adjacent borough of Queens to find firefighters responding to a fire at her apartment.
Firefighters apparently did not know that the little girl was in the home until after they had doused the flames and Aquino returned home, notifying police that the baby had been upstairs, the Post reported in an earlier story.
“The mother was distraught. She came up, she saw the fire and she said she didn’t know where her baby was,” a neighbor, Lisette Smith, said, according to the Post. “She went into the building. She said, ‘Where’s my baby? I just want to find my baby.’”
After Aquino learned that Kaleenah was dead, she collapsed in tears, the Post reported. Aquino had told investigators that she had left the girl with a babysitter before going out. However, the babysitter denied that, saying that she had stopped working for Aquino because the mom owed her money.
Aquino was initially charged with reckless endangerment and endangering the welfare of a child before the charges were increased.