By Sonja Sharp and Wil Cruz
BROOKLYN — Authorities are investigating the death of an baby inside his East New York apartment Sunday afternoon, officials said.
The infant was taken to Brookdale Hospital and pronounced dead, police said.
Pardella had been taking a bath with his 3-year-old sister when their mother, Angelica Huertas, left the room with the drain unplugged, sources said.
Pardella reportedly sat on the drain and blocked it.
"The mother left them unattended for a brief period," said a police source. "When she returned, the baby was under water and not breating."
Huertas was released from the 75th Precinct stationhouse after being questioned for several hours. She was not immediately charged.
People who know Huertas in the neighborhood defended the young mom.
"She's a great parent," said Sheila Rivera, 49, a neighbor and friend. "Something that doesn't happen in a year can happen in a second.
"She loves her children, and their father loves them even more," she added. "She's not a neglectful mother."
The medical examiner is expected to determine the exact cause of death Monday, officials added.
Police said the investigation was ongoing.
Patrick Hedlund contributed to this story.