STATEN ISLAND — When the news emerged that a 16-month-old passed away on Staten Island, one resident at the complex where the hold lived simply had this reaction, "I hope there was no foul play involved, because honestly, that is terrible to hear."
Shocking news of this kind is never easy to absorb as shortly past 10 p.m., on Sunday a 16-month-old boy was reported to be in cardiac arrest. When officers out of the NYPD's 120th precinct appeared at the scene, the FDNY was already performing CPR on little Anthony Delgado.
In a matter of minutes, the child was transferred to Staten Island University Hospital North, where he was ultimately pronounced dead.
"I went to sleep, and I wake up, everybody is like, oh your friend's daughter, your friends son is dead," said Ricky Perez who knew little Anthony and his mother Marta Delgado. The 22-year-old was one of the last people to see the child alive and the woman he was with was Gloria Fields, the child's babysitter.
"It's emotional, it hurts because it could be mine, it could be yours, it could be anybody's and to be able to have somebody in life you could trust and then something happens like that? It's just sick," said Perez. "Babies don't just turn up dead."
According to law enforcement, Fields and a male acquaintance, Michael Ambrose, are being questioned at the 120th Precinct. As for the family of the mother and the child they did not want to talk about their sudden loss. The news hit close to home for 25-year-old Gabbii Retamar, who not only knew Marta but has a child of her own.
"She cared about her baby very much," Retamar. "It was all she cared about you know, was her baby."
One resident inside the building tells PIX11 News that the Fields has a history of personal as well as child custody issues. For Tyrone Arroyo, who was holding his son Zachary during our interview, the loss of innocence is painful, "It's heartbreaking man, honestly, that is why you gotta be careful."
Investigators are still waiting for an official cause of death by the medical examiner to determine how to proceed with the case.