News Article Details

Hartford Mother Faces Manslaughter Charge In Death Of Malnourished Teen

Hartford Courant - 5/15/2017

May 15--Katiria Tirado, arrested in February after her malnourished 17-year-old autistic son died at the hospital, now faces a charge of first-degree manslaughter.

Tirado, 33, was initially charged with intentional cruelty to person in connection with the death of her son Matthew as investigators awaited the results of an autopsy.

Hartford police said Monday that they have obtained a warrant charging the mother with first-degree manslaughter and it will be served Monday.

During an appearance in Superior Court last month, Hartford State's Attorney Gail Hardy told a judge that the medical examiner had classified Matthew's death a homicide and that it was likely they would increase the charges against Tirado during her next appearance.

Matthew Tirado was brought to Hartford Hospital in February weighing 84 pounds, an affidavit for Katiria Tirado's arrest read. A medical examiner first noticed bruising on his body and later discovered cuts and broken ribs.

The medical examiner told Hartford police detectives that the injuries appeared to be from long-term abuse and neglect, the affidavit read.

Following her arrest, the Department of Children and Families confirmed to the Courant that they had investigated whether children in his family were attending school, but had been refused access to the home by Katiria Tirado.

Those officials also said that she declined DCF services and help offered.

When he died, officials with the Oak Hill School in Bristol, where Matthew was a student, said he had not been there for more than a year.

DCF said the department closed its case with the family in January, and that there were no indications of safety concerns with the teen at the time.

The state's child advocate, Sarah Eagan, told lawmakers that Katiria Tirado was on the state's child-abuse registry for past instances of both physical abuse and education neglect involving Matthew, who was autistic and nonverbal.

She said the abuse and neglected dated back to when Matthew was in first grade.

Her office has been investigating the state's involvement with the child since his death.

Hartford detectives discovered that Tirado had locked the cabinets and refrigerator in her Park Street apartment, the affidavit read. After questioning, she admitted to locking up food and personally giving Matthew what he ate.

She called an ambulance for him early on Feb. 14 after Matthew had been vomitting for about a day, the affidavit said.

Within hours, he was dead.

She's been in custody on $200,000 bond.


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