Seminole County mother arrested for death of malnourished twin son, deputies say

by: Lauren Seabrook, WFTV Web Staff Updated:

SANFORD, Fla. - A Sanford mother has been arrested and charged for child neglect involving her twin son, deputies said.

Deputies arrested Michelle Spinicchia, 26, Sunday for the death of her 3-week-old twin son, Benjamin Mitchell, investigators said.

The investigation began Aug. 10, when the Spinicchia said she and the baby’s father woke up and found the boy not breathing and cold to the touch. She told investigators that she tried wrapping the baby in a blanket to warm him up.

An autopsy revealed Mitchell was severely malnourished and underweight, investigators said. Detectives said the boy was born prematurely and required medical treatment for breathing issues, but Spinicchia never took him to doctor appointments.

Deputies said based on what Spinicchia told investigators, they believed she failed to provide essential medical care to keep Mitchell alive.

The other twin was not injured.

Channel 9’s Lauren Seabrook spoke to the baby's father. He told Eyewitness News that he's the one who fed Benjamin, not Spinicchia. He said he fed both twins the same and he believes Benjamin inherited a rare genetic disorder that deprived him of nutrients.

At the time of Spinicchia's arrest, she was out on bond for a March arrest on domestic violence charges against the baby's father; along with grand theft, resisting arrest and escape from a deputy's patrol car, investigators said.

Deputies said when Spinicchia was booked in jail Sunday, she damaged a fire sprinkler head. She's now facing additional charges for criminal mischief, creating a false fire alarm and damaging the sprinkler.