VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – A woman was arrested on Monday afternoon after her 3-year-old son was found drowned in Ormond Beach, according to the police department.
Police said they responded to 1515 San Marco Drive on Sunday around 2:15 p.m. to investigate a child found dead in a nearby retention pond.
Upon arrival, police spoke with a man who explained that the child — 3-year-old Aziryh Santiago — was seen on surveillance video running past his home toward the retention pond earlier that morning. The boy was also seen with a tablet in a blue case, police added.
Police said they then spoke with 22-year-old Myra Santiago, who was the 3-year-old’s mother.
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Myra Santiago told police that she had dropped her son off at a neighbor’s home the night prior while she went out to the Daytona Beach board walk, police said. She advised that she returned around 1 a.m. on Sunday to take him home, police added.
According to police, Myra Santiago explained that her son had later come into her room around 6 a.m. to ask for his tablet — something he does every day.
She stated that her son will typically take the tablet and go lay down in his room for a while before breakfast time, though when she woke up around 1:45 p.m., she noticed he was not in the apartment, investigators said.
In an affidavit, police said Myra Santiago then went to go look for him, which is when she saw the crime scene tape and contacted police.
Police said they also spoke with a 15-year-old witness who often stayed at Myra Santiago’s home, and the teen provided the same story.
However, police said there were some inconsistencies in his story about whether he was sleeping in Myra Santiago’s bed with her and whether she had taken a shower before realizing her son was missing.
The affidavit shows that the 3-year-old had escaped from the apartment several times before this incident, though no child safety locks or devices were installed that could have prevented the boy from leaving.
Myra Santiago told police that she didn’t have enough money to purchase a child safety lock, though police found over $100 in cash laying on Myra Santiago’s dresser, along with glass smoking pipes, marijuana, e-cigarettes and several bottles of alcohol in the freezer, investigators said.
In addition, police said they spoke with the neighbor whom Myra Santiago said she left her son with.
The neighbor told police that she hadn’t watched after the boy, but Myra Santiago had instead messaged her on Facebook, writing, “Can you tell the Police you watched Aziryh last night” and “Ill tell you later about everything I’m freaking out,” court records show.
After that, police said they interviewed Myra Santiago, who claimed that the neighbor was angry with her.
Upon being told she wasn’t allowed to leave, Myra Santiago made a phone call to her mother, explaining that she had left her son alone in the apartment, police said.
Myra Santiago was later arrested and faces charges of aggravated manslaughter of a child and neglect of a child. She is held on no bond.
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