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Brooklyn Mother Charged in Baby's Bathtub Drowning Death

By Sonja Sharp | April 3, 2012 8:01am

BROOKLYN — A mother whose 11-month-old baby drowned in a bathtub in East New York Sunday has been charged in the infant's death, police said.  

Angelica Huertas, 24, was arrested and charged with endangering the welfare of a child after her son Elijah Pardella was found unconscious at their Pennsylvania Avenue home Sunday afternoon, the NYPD said.

He was rushed to Brookdale Hospital where he was pronounced dead, police added.

Pardella had been taking a bath with his 3-year-old sister when Huertas left the room with the drain unplugged, sources said. The infant reportedly sat on the drain and blocked it.

"I think this was a careless accident," said friend and neighbor Sheila Rivera, 49. "I think she thought with the little girl there [in the bathtub], she felt safe to walk away."

Police confirmed that Huertas left the infant alone in the tub with his sister, returning to find him unresponsive and underwater. 

Building superintendent Ambi Barrata, 42, said he remembered Huertas as an attentive parent whose children played happily outside of the apartment. 

"She's a nice girl," he said of Huertas. "I feel bad."