HAMILTON HEIGHTS — The man suspected of murdering his ex-girlfriend and their son in her Hamilton Heights apartment pretended to be a grief-stricken father in mourning before admitting that he had killed them both, prosecutors said Tuesday.
Isaac Duran Infante, 23, initially spoke with investigators the day after Felicia Barahona — his former high school teacher and girlfriend — and their 4-year-old son, Miguel, were found strangled inside her apartment on West 53rd Street the day after Christmas, prosecutors said.
He tried passing himself off as a bereaved loved one of the victims, but within hours the spotlight had turned to him as the main suspect, according to Assistant District Attorney Nicole Blumberg.
“He came to the precinct under the guise of being a grieving father, and a few hours later he had confessed to the crimes,” Blumberg told Judge Charles Solomon at Infante's supreme court arraignment Tuesday, after a grand jury indicted him on two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of second degree murder.
Infante stared straight ahead as the charges were read.
Police had initially suspected murder-suicide, but began considering murder because the electrical cord used to strangle Barahona was not attached to anything and there was no suicide note or sign of forced entry, sources said.
In an initial statement to police, Infante told investigators that he had gotten into a fight with Barahona in a Washington Heights McDonalds during a court-ordered visitation with Miguel because he felt that Barahona was dressing the boy poorly and hadn’t gotten his hair cut in an effort to embarrass Infante, according to court documents.
“He was wearing the worst clothes he has,” he told police on the evening of Dec. 26, “Felicia dragged Miguel out of McDonald’s and didn’t give me visitation. I stood there crying.”
He told police he saw his son again for the last time on Dec. 11, at another court-ordered visit, and then got the call from his father who had seen news of the double murder on television on Dec. 26, according to court documents.
But within hours of being questioned by police, Infante broke down and confessed to the killings, sources said.
According to investigators, Infante drove to New York from his home in Pennsylvania on Dec. 22, telling police he was “filled with an evil rage” and angry at Barahona for the way she was raising their son.
He told investigators that he confronted Barahona in her kitchen, and when she grabbed a knife to defend herself he strangled her with an electrical cord, sources said. When Miguel toddled out of his room to see what the commotion was, Infante fatally strangled the boy in the bathtub to eliminate him as a witness, sources said.
Infante’s doomed relationship with Barahona began in 2011 when he was a sophomore at DeWitt Clinton High School in The Bronx. After friending him on Facebook, Barahona invited him trick-or-treating with her and her daughter, according to a 2012 report from the Special Commissioner of Investigation.
She later invited him to her home for her birthday, where they had the first of several sexual encounters, and she told him not to worry about condoms, according to the report. When she became pregnant she reported the relationship to school officials, telling them she was in love with Infante and that she planned to marry him.
Infante moved in with her, but the pair broke up shortly after Miguel’s birth. But Infante became disgusted with how Barahona was raising Miguel, and was furious with her for bringing him too often to McDonalds and sometimes dressing the boy in girls’ clothes, a source said.
He was also sick of paying child support, according to the source.
Infante was ordered held without bail, and is due back in court on March 7.