NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The mother of two Bronx toddlers who died just minutes apart from each other in 2017 now faces manslaughter charges in their deaths.
Jade Spencer, 33, was arrested Thursday. The nurse practitioner, charged with two counts of manslaughter, showed no emotion in court, CBS2’s Dave Carlin reports.READ MORE: Manhattan, Brooklyn Residents Sue City To Stop Permanent Outdoor Dining
The alleged victims are Spencer’s own children, 3-year-old Micah Gee and 2-year-old Olivia. It was initially believed asthma caused their deaths, but it was later ruled that the condition did not end their lives.
It was blunt force trauma, the medical examiner said.
Spencer told police the kids went to bed before her then-boyfriend — Novell Jordan — arrived, police sources told CBS2.
The two then smoked marijuana, drank beer, and watched a movie before she fell asleep, sources said.
Hours later, Jordan said something was wrong with the children. Authorities say Spencer called 911 after discovering the boy couldn’t breathe and her daughter was unresponsive.
The toddlers were taken to Montefiore Medical Center, where they were later pronounced dead – Olivia just three minutes before her brother.
Doctors told police both children had symptoms that can be caused from severe asthma attacks. Police also noticed unexplained injuries to both of their necks. The Medical Examiner then found older, healed injuries on the children’s bodies – dated to a time when the children were only in the custody of the mother.READ MORE: 'Phantom Of The Opera,' Broadway's Longest Running Show, Resumes Performances
When pressed to explain why it took this long to result in charges for the killings of kids from 2017, the NYPD only said it was “based on a thorough review” and conferral with district attorneys.
Spencer was found by police at her new home in Bloomfield, New Jersey.
There is no motive offered up by investigators.
Jordan has not been arrested or charged.
Mark Turner and other residents at the Bronx Building in Van Cortlandt Village, where the children died, say they had their suspicions from the start.
“I was very sad, obviously. I knew the kids,” Turner said. “It had to be somebody because it didn’t seem right that two kids died at the same time of the same thing.”
Some of Spencer’s former Bronx neighbors called it an incomprehensible crime against toddlers.
“I cannot even imagine how anyone could do that to a kid,” Gisela Perez said. “Children are our futures. They are beautiful. Why would you have a child and then harm them? I have no words.”MORE NEWS: Rev. Jesse Jackson Celebrates 80th Birthday In Harlem
Spencer’s cash bail is set at $100,000, and she’s due back in court Aug. 13.