Palisades Park, NJ, women charged after baby dies from magnesium

TRENTON — Two Palisades Park women were arrested Monday in connection with the December death of an 11-month-old girl, including the child’s mother and a 73-year-old man accused of giving her a lethal dose of magnesium.

According to the police complaint and probable cause affidavit, Enma Medina, 38, brought her infant daughter, Genesis Catalan-Medina, to the apartment of Elida Ofelia Medina-Ramos, 73, around 8 a.m. morning on December 7 because the daughter was sick. .

Medina-Ramos told investigators she massaged the baby’s stomach and treated it with a liquid substance made up of magnesium, olive oil and water, given by oral syringe, to relieve constipation. , according to the affidavit.

Around 8:30 a.m., Palisades Park police responded to a 911 call that reported a child had a medical episode, prosecutors said. She was found unconscious and not breathing and was taken by ambulance to Hackensack University Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.

A toxicology report revealed that the child, who was five days away from his first birthday, had high levels of magnesium in his system – 22 mg/dL. A report on the National Institutes of Health website states that anything over 15 mg/dL can cause coma and cardiac arrest.

According to the affidavit, Medina-Ramos, a Guatemalan citizen, admitted that she was not licensed to practice medicine in the United States, but had treated children for many years, including Medina’s son. , now 15, when he was a child. .

The Bergen County District Attorney’s Office said Medina-Ramos, who works as a waitress, was charged with manslaughter, unauthorized practice of medicine and child endangerment. The manslaughter charge is a first-degree charge, while the other two allege third-degree felonies.

Medina, who is unemployed, was charged with child endangerment, a second-degree felony.

Michael Symons is the State House Bureau Chief for New Jersey 101.5. Contact him at [email protected].

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