Authorities in Florida have released new evidence in the horrific murder case of a mother-of-two who was allegedly stabbed to death by her teen son while her newborn baby slept next to her.
Thirteen-year-old Derek Rosa is facing murder charges stemming from the 12 October killing of his 39-year-old mother Irina Garcia in the city of Hialeah. Prosecutors claimed Mr Rosa used a kitchen knife to stab his mother multiple times, with one of the wounds slicing an artery in her neck.
Snippets of the gruesome murder were captured on a baby monitor placed in Garcia’s room, WPLG reported.
Just moments after the attack, Mr Rosa reportedly posed with a bloodied hand for a selfie that he sent to his friend. The selfie and other pictures were released by the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office ahead of a ruling regarding Mr Rosa’s housing facility.
A haunting screengrab from the baby monitor also released on Tuesday shows Garcia holding her 14-day daughter, who was lying next to the mother when the attack ensued. A third grab shows a figure, who police say is Mr Rosa, towering over Garcia on the night of the murder.
Mr Rosa is being charged as an adult in the high-profile case but a judge still has to determine whether he should remain jailed in an adult prison, or be transferred to a juvenile facility, as he awaits trial.
Authorities responded to Garcia’s apartment at 211 West 79th Place after reportedly receiving a 911 call from Mr Rosa allegedly admitting to having killed his mother, The Miami Herald reported.
Garcia and her children were alone at the home at the time of the murder because her husband was out of town.
Her newborn daughter was found in a crib, while her mother’s lifeless body was discovered on the floor of the room.
Prosecutors have told the court that Mr Rosa reportedly told detectives he had retrieved two guns owned by his stepfather and planned to kill himself, but couldn’t follow through with the plan.
Mr Rosa, an honour roll student at iMater Middle/High Charter School, then proceeded to take pictures of Garcia’s body and sent them to a friend, authorities said.
The teen was initially held at a juvenile facility, but he was later transferred to Metro West Jail after a judge updated his charges from second-degree murder to first-degree murder. Mr Rosa’s attorneys have argued that his rights are being violated at the jail, where he is the youngest of 34 juveniles, sources at the facility told NBC.
Miami-Dade Judge Richard Hersch was expected to rule on Mr Rosa’s housing situation on Tuesday, but the hearing has now been postponed to Thursday.
If you are experiencing feelings of distress and isolation, or are struggling to cope, The Samaritans offers support; you can speak to someone for free over the phone, in confidence, on 116 123 (UK and ROI), email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the Samaritans website to find details of your nearest branch.
If you are based in the USA, and you or someone you know needs mental health assistance right now, call National Suicide Prevention Helpline on 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The Helpline is a free, confidential crisis hotline that is available to everyone 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you are in another country, you can go to www.befrienders.org to find a helpline near you.