A diplomat for the Mexican Consulate in New York is being questioned in the death of his 4-month-old son, who was taken to a Manhattan hospital on Tuesday night with bruises on his body.
Eduardo Rocha Bracamontes, 36, who lists his title on his LinkedIn page as “Consul for the Legal, Documentation, and Political Departments,” and his wife, Gina Ximena, 26, took the baby, Eduardo Rocha Ovalle, to New York University Langone Medical Center, according to published reports.
The couple, who live in an upscale building on the East Side, took their unconscious child to the hospital in a cab, according to reports. The child, whose body was covered with cuts and bruises, was later pronounced dead.
Police say they are questioning the parents, and are treating the apartment as a possible crime scene, posting an officer at the door, reported The New York Times. No charges have thus far been filed.
The building’s superintendent, Wendy Hernandez, is quoted in various news outlets as saying that Bracamontes and Ximena have lived in the apartment less than a year. She also said that police went to the apartment at least twice in response to domestic abuse calls.
The New York Times quoted Hernandez as saying that in one instance she saw Ximena crying, seemingly terrified, and displayed bruises that apparently were caused by Bracamontes.
“I asked is everything O.K., because she was crying,” Ms. Hernandez said, according to the Times. “I said, ‘Where’s the baby?’ She said: ‘Upstairs. He doesn’t want to give me [the] baby.’”
The police said they were not informed by Ximena of physical abuse and considered both incidents as involving verbal mistreatment, the Times said, adding “The police said the family had had no contact with the Administration for Children’s Services, which investigates child neglect and abuse.”
The police left both times without making an arrest.
Rocha apparently is protected by diplomatic immunity – the degree of protection is unclear.
“According to international law, the Consulate General will provide the family the Consular assistance and protection required,” the Mexican Consulate is quoted as saying in published reports. “As the case is under investigation, the Consulate is not in a position to make any further comments.”
The Times quoted Carlos Gerardo Izzo Rivera, a spokesman for the Mexican Consulate, as saying: “Of course, it’s a very sad situation. We are waiting for the information” about what happened.”
Police authorities say an autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of the baby’s death.
“The baby expired at the hospital,” NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly is quoted as saying in The New York Post. “When the Medical Examiner responded, he determined that an investigation should be done to determine the specific cause of death and that’s what’s going forward right now.”
The Post went on to quote an unnamed source as saying that Rocha is trying “to thwart the autopsy.” The source also said that according to the parents the baby had epilepsy and the bruises were self-inflicted.
“The family hired a lawyer to prevent the autopsy and take the body to Mexico,” the source said.
Although Rocha has diplomatic immunity, the Post said, he could still be charged with a crime if the investigation determines the baby died because of foul play in which he had a role.
His LinkedIn page says he is founder of ACHORE, a Mexico-based financial and political consulting business. His page says the firm’s clients include “presidents, diplomats, CEO’s,” among others.