Bad Parents! 6 Recent Cases Of Terrible Moms and Dads

Alyssa Garcia's mug shot. Photo: Chicago Police Department

All crimes against children are horrifying and depressing, but it’s even worse when parents put their own children in harm’s way. CrimeFeed has previously brought you parents who enabled their criminal kids, but here are six recent cases of moms and dads who’ve exhibited extraordinarily bad parenting.

1. Chicago Mother Arrested for Starving and Burning the Body of Four-Year-Old Son

Alyssa Garcia, 27 (above); her boyfriend (unnamed, as he’s 17 years old); and her boyfriend’s brother, Christian Camarena, 19; have all been charged with felony counts of concealment of a death and attempted arson. The child’s body was discovered in the basement of a burning, abandoned building. According to, more charges are possible upon the completion of the medical examiner’s investigation. The body of Manuel Aguilar, 4, was so tiny from lack of nutrition that, when discovered, investigators believed they’d found a nine-month-old baby. While alive, poor Manuel was allegedly kept naked in a storage room, where he would urinate and defecate, sometimes hiding his feces because his Garcia would beat him, prosecutors say, if the child made his mess on the floor. The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services have taken Garcia’s five other children, including newborn twins. The Department had previously investigated Garcia for child neglect and even placed her children, including Manuel, in foster care. The kids were returned to her in 2015 after she successfully took parenting classes and complied with other demands the Department made of her.

2. After Five-Month-Old Dies, Parents Blame Daughter’s Fatal Skull Fracture On “Evil Eye” Cure By Priestess

The parents of a five-month-old girl who died from a brain fracture told cops the injuries were caused by a priestess who was attempting to cure her of the “evil eye.” Yesenia Sasso and Jorge Baque (above) are not facing charges, but are being investigated for the July 30 death of their daughter. According to the New York Daily News, the Queens, New York, couple claimed the baby was swaddled and rolled on the ground by the priestess in attempt to cure her of vomiting and constant crying, which they thought was caused by the “evil eye.” The “treatment” reportedly came after they rolled an egg on her skin and the yolk looked bad. Sources told the publication that the baby had a bruise on the back of her head and sustained eight skull fractures which are consistent with a stomping or a beating. The baby’s injuries were caused by “abusive head trauma,” according to Julie Bolcer of the city medical examiner’s office. Sasso and Baque’s other son has been taken out of their custody while authorities investigate the homicide of the infant.

3. Six-Year-Old Sustains Serious Burns After Cops Say Parents Forced Him To Stand Outside Barefoot

Mark and Sarah Simmons.Photos: Phoenix Police Department

Mark and Sarah Simmons. Photos: Phoenix Police Department

A pair of Phoenix, Arizona, parents are facing serious charges for a July 12 incident which resulted in a six-year-old boy experiencing severe burns. KTLA reports Sarah and Mark Simmons (pictured) are accused of making the child stand outside barefoot in 110-degree weather for 10 minutes as a punishment. He told police that Sarah, his stepmother, cut his blistered skin, and then said that, “if he didn’t stop crying, he would go back outside and burn worse.” Mark is booked on suspicion of two counts of child abuse while Sarah, who only sought medical attention after the victim’s wounds became infected, faces one count of intent to commit child abuse. Sarah Simmons reportedly has 30 previous reports to the Arizona Department of Child Safety.

4. Georgia Dad Faces Charges After Twins Die In Hot Car

A Georgia dad is facing serious charges after his twin daughters died in a sweltering car. Asa North was reportedly discovered by cops trying to revive the 15-month-old children by a kiddie pool. Though it is unclear what the 24-year-old was doing hours before, temperatures in Georgia reached 90 degrees on August 4, according to the New York Daily NewsCops don’t believe the deaths of Ariel and Alaynah, who were pronounced dead at the hospital, were intentional. North is charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter and two counts of reckless conduct.

5. Cops: Pennsylvania Dad Pushed Six-Week-Old’s Head In Toilet During Standoff

Dennis Gateley's mug shot. Photo: Allegheny County Jail

Dennis Gateley’s mug shot. Photo: Allegheny County Jail

A Mount Washington, Pennsylvania, “dad” allegedly put his infant child’s head in a toilet during an argument with his girlfriend on August 1. Dennis Gateley, 31, reportedly got into a dispute with his girlfriend, Melinda Stracuzza, about whether he should take better care of the baby. From there, he allegedly punched her, knocked the baby’s head against a wall, and shoved the infant into a toilet. Though family members heard Gateley say, “I’m going to kill them,” both Stracuzza and the baby got out of the home as he went to get his firearms (which he is not supposed to have, as he is a convicted felon). His previous convictions are for aggravated assault and indecent deviate sexual intercourse. Gateley surrendered at 2:41 A.M. after a standoff with the SWAT Team, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. During the altercation, Gateley was also bitten by the family dog. Good boy. He is charged with assault, illegal firearm possession, terrorist threats, and endangering a child. While in the hospital for treatment of his dog bite, Gatelely taunted the cops with, “I could have picked either one of you off at any time. I had the advantage, because I had the higher ground.”

6. South Carolina Mom Allegedly Gave 17-Month-Old Daughter Fatal Dose Of Salt

FOX Carolina 21

A mom-of-three is accused of poisoning her young daughter with salt — which later resulted in her death. The New York Daily News reports Kimberly Martines was charged with homicide child abuse on August 3. The Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office claimed the 23-year-old told investigators she administered a teaspoon of salt to her child. Though that amount may seem minuscule, the baby suffered seizures and was taken off of life support days after being diagnosed with acute salt poisoning. The 17-month-old’s twin sister and an older sibling are in the state’s custody while the mother is held without bond.

Main photo: Alyssa Garcia’s mug shot [Chicago Police Department]

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