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New York woman charged with murder for allegedly starving boyfriend’s young son to death


New York woman, 39, is charged with murder after ‘starving her boyfriend’s 7-year-old-son to death’

  • New York woman Leticia Bravo, 39, was arrested and charged on Thursday after she allegedly locked her boyfriend’s son in a room and starved him to death 
  • Bravo was her boyfriend Arturo Cuacuas’ son’s primary caretaker since September 2020 and had looked after him every day except Saturday
  • She brought seven-year-old Peter Cuacuas to St. Luke’s Hospital in Newburgh on February 10 where he was pronounced dead from malnourishment
  • Bravo has been charged with second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter as well as second-degree manslaughter
  • Cuacuas also was charged with criminally negligent homicide for not acknowledging his son’s poor health and condition


A New York woman has been charged with second-degree murder, accused of locking her boyfriend’s seven-year-old son in a closet and starving him to death.

Police said Leticia Bravo, 39, of Newburgh, locked boyfriend Arturo Cuacuas’ son, Peter, in a room.  

In February, Bravo brought Peter to St Luke’s Hospital, where he was pronounced dead from malnutrition. Bravo, who was named his primary caretaker in September 2020, also is believed to be Peter’s biological mother, but that has not been confirmed. 

New York woman Leticia Bravo, 39, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder on Tuesday for allegedly locking her boyfriend’s seven-year-old son son in a room and starving him to death

Peter's father Arturo Cuacuas was charged with criminally negligent homicide after not noticing his son's poor health and condition

Peter’s father Arturo Cuacuas was charged with criminally negligent homicide after not noticing his son’s poor health and condition

Peter was locked and secluded in his bedroom by Bravo who was the primary caretaker of her boyfriend's son

Peter was locked and secluded in his bedroom by Bravo who was the primary caretaker of her boyfriend’s son

‘An autopsy conducted by the Orange County medical examiner concluded that Peter — who weighed just 37 pounds — had died of malnutrition,’ Newburgh Police Commissioner Jose Gomerez told NBC on Friday.

‘It is alleged that Bravo left Peter locked and secluded in a bedroom behind doors, locked from the outside since January 2021.’

Peter was in Bravo’s care every day except Saturday, which he spent with Cuacuas.

The boy also reportedly stopped logging onto school online beginning in January, even after Bravo was contacted by members of the district.

He was brought into the hospital a month later on February 10.

‘It is unthinkable that someone would accept the responsibility of caring for a child and then deny that child the basic necessities of life,’ District Attorney David Hoovler said. 

‘It is truly disturbing how this child was kept hidden from school authorities before he died.’

Bravo took Peter's malnourished body to St Luke's Hospital in Newburgh on February 10 where he was pronounced dead

Bravo took Peter’s malnourished body to St Luke’s Hospital in Newburgh on February 10 where he was pronounced dead

Bravo was arrested on Thursday by the City of Newburgh Police Department and charged with second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter and second-degree manslaughter.

Her bail was set at $250,000 cash. If convicted of these charges, she may face a 25-year-sentence.

Cuacuas also was charged with criminally negligent homicide for not acknowledging his son’s malnutrition and poor health which lead to a four-year-sentence.

Both of them were held in Orange County Jail and are due to appear in court October 26.

Orange County Attorney David Hoovler gave an update at a press conference on Peter's case which he called 'unthinkable' and 'disturbing'

Orange County Attorney David Hoovler gave an update at a press conference on Peter’s case which he called ‘unthinkable’ and ‘disturbing’ 

City of Newburgh Police Commissioner Jose Gomerez also spoke at the conference

City of Newburgh Police Commissioner Jose Gomerez also spoke at the conference

‘Today is about justice for Peter Cuacuas’, Gomerez said at a press conference. ‘Our children are our most vulnerable community members.’

‘This is a devastating case for our entire community, who I know were frustrated over the past eight months with no arrest being made. 

‘This has been a lengthy and emotional case that has affected our department, specifically those involved in the investigation.’

It is unclear why it took several months to charge anyone in Peter’s death. 

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