A babysitter in Northern California pleaded not guilty Friday to charges that she tried to smother a baby boy in her care, authorities said.
Livermore police say they have video footage from a hidden nanny cam of 20-year-old Moriah Gonzales pressing her hands against the crying 13-month-old baby until the child went limp on Feb. 18.
In a probable-cause document attached to Gonzales’ criminal complaint, police reported that the footage showed Gonzales “holding him with her hands nearing his face, but clear audible crying could still be heard.”
“Moriah then placed her hands closer to [the baby’s] face and the sounds went from clear and audible to a muffled cry. After a few seconds, [the baby] began to squirm and kick. He then went limp,” the report states.
She then lifted the boy facing up until the back of his head was resting on her shoulder, her hands still over the baby’s face, according to the report. Police said when she removed her hands, the baby started crying again.
So Gonzales then “flung” the baby over her shoulder faceup, his arms extended outward “as if it was limp,” then laid the boy back down in his crib, according to the report.
When the baby’s parents got home and reviewed the tape, Gonzales was still in the home, police said. The parents asked her to leave but did not tell her what they saw; the parents called police after she left.
The next day, an officer went to Gonzales’ home and interviewed her, officials said. She gave a completely different account of how she put the baby to sleep the day before. When the officer told her that a nanny cam had recorded her, she was surprised but continued to give a story “that was not depicted on the camera,” the report said.
Gonzales was arrested and ultimately charged with felony child abuse likely to cause great bodily harm on Feb. 22. She is scheduled to return April 8 to court.
Her attorney did not immediately return calls for comment.
Police said Gonzales advertised her services on Care.com. Livermore police ask anyone who has hired Gonzales to call the department at (925) 294-7531.
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