NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A 1-year-old girl is dead and her twin brother is critically hurt after police say they were found with severe body trauma inside a Queens apartment.
The children’s 30-year-old mother is in police custody. So far, no charges have been filed.
Police said they were called to a home on Ashby Avenue in the Auburndale neighborhood shortly before 10 p.m. Wednesday.
Sources told CBS2 the woman lived in the basement unit with five children, all under the age of 10. She was the only adult home at the time and was the one who called 911, sources said.
Police said officers found the little girl, identified as 1-year-old Elaina Torabi, unconscious and unresponsive and rushed her to Flushing Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
Her brother was taken to Cohen Children’s Medical Center in critical condition.
The Administration for Children’s Services removed three other girls, ages 2, 4, and 5, from the home, unharmed.
Neighbor Judanna Cavallo told CBS2 she was shocked to learn the grim news.
“Devastated and very sick over this,” she added.
Cavallo said the children’s mother “was completely distraught and falling down to her knees on the pavement.”
She described the woman as “beautiful, vivacious, outgoing, friendly.”
“With five children, I told her if at any time she ever needed anyone to turn to, day or night – even if it’s the middle of the night – that I’d always be here for her,” she added.
Cavallo said she tried to console the older children.
“I gave the older one a hug and she wanted her mommy,” she said. “I was just trying to allay their fears and have them taken care of.”
Another neighbor called the situation “heartbreaking.”
“The way the police were carrying the baby, it didn’t look like it was moving,” he said.
“It’s a shame that something like this happened. It’s a very nice neighborhood,” said another.
Sources told CBS2 the mother had one previous run-in with ACS in the past. The twins tested positive for drugs when they were born and were taken away from the mother while she underwent drug abuse counseling, the sources add. She was given custody six months later, and ACS workers visited the home this past Monday as part of the substance abuse program.
The medical examiner’s office will determine the girl’s cause of death as the investigation continues.