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Mother Charged With Second-Degree Murder In Death Of Toddler At Midtown Restaurant

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) - A woman was charged Tuesday in the death of her 1-year-old son who was found unconscious a day earlier in the bathroom of a midtown Manhattan restaurant.

Latisha Fisher, 35, faces charges of second-degree murder in the death of Gavriel Ortiz-Fisher. She is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday.

Boy Dead In Midtown Restaurant
A 2-year-old boy was found dead in a restroom in this restaurant in Midtown. (Credit: CBS2)

Fisher had a painful expression but said nothing to reporters as police led her out of the Midtown South Precinct station house in handcuffs Tuesday morning, CBS2's Janelle Burrell reported.

She and her son were found in the bathroom at 5 Boro Burger on Sixth Avenue near 36th Street at about 2:45 p.m. Monday.

Police say a worker at the restaurant became concerned after noticing that the woman and child were in the bathroom for an unusual amount of time.

Mother Charged With Second-Degree Murder In Death Of Toddler At Midtown Restaurant

The worker entered the bathroom, saw the boy unconscious on the woman's lap and called 911.

When asked what she was doing, the woman allegedly said, "I put my hand over his mouth to put him to sleep," WCBS 880's Marla Diamond reported Monday.

"Hear a little commotion in the corner, get up, see boy sitting there, like, kind of unresponsive looking," said Chris Coffee, a witness who was inside 5 Boro Burger after the boy was removed from the bathroom. "Staff is talking about how this woman's in the bathroom, and how she won't come out; she's locked herself in."

Sources said the boy's mother later said, "The devil made me do it."

Gavriel died before emergency crews could get him to the hospital, Burrell reported. The stroller his mother used to push him in was among the items taken from the burger restaurant as evidence as prosecutors build a case against her.

The medical examiner will determine the cause of death.

Neighbor Carolyn Lawson told CBS2, "Anytime I've seen her around, she was happy pushing the baby with the father and everything, and I guess you just never know what goes on.

"Adorable little boy. I don't understand what goes through people's minds sometimes."

Another neighbor, named Carmen, told 1010 WINS' Juliet Papa, "I mean if she wasn't right they should've taken that baby away from her."

Some neighbors said Fisher had an older son, but it's not known whether the boy was still living with her, Papa reported.

The Administration for Children's Services released a statement Tuesday saying: "We are horrified by this tragic death, and the Administration for Children's Services has initiated an investigation. It is critical that all New Yorkers report any suspected signs of child abuse or neglect to help ensure we protect children at risk."

Mayor Bill de Blasio said there was no current ACS involvement with the family.

"This is a horrible, horrible tragedy," the mayor said. "This one, as a human being and as a parent, this one grabs at me. It's just profoundly troubling."

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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