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Florida Mom Accused of 3-Year-Old Son’s Drowning, Allegedly Asked Neighbor to Lie to Police on Her Behalf, Cops Say

florida mom  year old son drowned murder
Source: Volusia County Division of Corrections; Unsplash

Apr. 27 2023, Published 11:32 a.m. ET

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A woman in Florida has been arrested after her 3-year-old son left their apartment and drowned in a nearby retention pond, according to authorities.

Around 6:45 a.m. on April 23, surveillance video from a neighbor showed Azriyh Santiago running past the neighbor’s door and then a minute later running behind the apartment, the Daytona Beach News Journal reported.

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According to the Ormond Beach Police Department, Azriyh was seen walking around with “what appears to be a tablet with a blue case.” The video showed Azriyh looking around and then he “ran directly toward the pond when the video ends.”

The boy’s mother, 22-year-old Myra Santiago, talked with police and said she woke up about 1:45 p.m. and noticed her son wasn’t in the apartment. She went looking for him, which is when she saw the crime scene tape.

Santiago told police that Azriyh normally comes into her room around 6 a.m. and gets his tablet before going back to his room until breakfast, officials said.

Azriyh has escaped the apartment several times before and police say Santiago made no effort to buy child safe locks. She said she didn’t have the money to buy the locks, but officers wrote in the police report that Santiago had more than $100 on her dresser, as well as smoking pipes and marijuana and several bottles of alcohol in the freezer.

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On the night of April 22, Santiago left her son alone in the apartment for about four hours while she was out walking the Daytona Beach boardwalk with a friend, according to the police report.

She allegedly reached out to a neighbor on Facebook asking them to “tell the police you watched Azriyh last night … I came and got him from your place at 2 or 3,” officials said.

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Police talked with the neighbor, who said she did not watch the boy and gave detectives screenshots of the Facebook messages.

Santiago was arrested and charged with aggravated manslaughter and neglect of a child, authorities said. She was booked into Volusia County Division of Correction and is being held without bond.

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