Central Florida mom arrested after 3-year-old drowns in pond

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ORMOND BEACH, Fla. — An Ormond Beach woman was arrested Monday after her three-year-old son was found drowned in a retention pond.


22-year-old Myra Santiago faces charges of aggravated manslaughter of a child and neglect of a child, both felonies.

Ormond Beach Police were called to an apartment complex on San Marco Drive around 2:15 p.m. Sunday afternoon after a resident there called to report finding the boy in the pond behind his building.

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According to Santiago’s arrest report, one neighbor had security camera video showing the child run past his door just before 7 a.m. and running towards the pond as the video ends.

According to the report, Santiago told officers she left her son with a neighbor between 10 and 11 p.m. the night before, went to the Daytona Beach Boardwalk with a friend and returned by 2 a.m. Sunday morning to get her son back from the neighbor.

It was around 6 a.m. when Santiago claimed the boy came into her room and asked for his tablet but that she never saw him again after that. Santiago told police she woke up around 1:45 p.m. Sunday and noticed her son wasn’t in the apartment. She said that’s when she went to look for him noticed the crime scene tape.

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When police questioned Santiago’s neighbor, she denied having watched the child Saturday night or any other time before that.

Police later found text messages on Santiago’s phone sent to the neighbor asking her to lie to police about watching the boy after his body had been found.

Investigators also noted Santiago knew her son was able to leave the apartment on his own, but had failed to acquire a child safety lock that would have prevented him from doing so.

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Police determined Santiago left the boy alone in the apartment for approximately eight hours, allowing him to escape and ultimately drown in the retention pond behind the building.

Santiago is being held in the Volusia County Jail on no bond.

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