Connecticut man charged in connection with 1-month-old son’s death

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Divya Patel (Courtesy: Connecticut State Police)

An Indian-American man from Glastonbury, Connecticut, has been charged in connection with the death of his one-year old son, in what appears to be a conflicting story still being investigated by police.

Divya Patel, 34, faces charges of risk of injury to a minor and tampering with evidence in connection with his son’s death. He also faces a child endangerment charge for failing to seek medical care when he discovered his 1-month-old son cold to the touch. He is being held on a $1 million bail. The investigation continues and Patel is due back in court on Dec. 5, according to the Hartford Courant.

According to the Courant, prosecutor Evelyn Rojas told New Britain Superior Court Judge Joan K. Alexander that there was about a five-hour delay between when Patel told the baby’s mother that the baby had stopped breathing and when police were able to track down Patel and the baby in Rocky Hill. Despite the mother’s pleas, Patel never sought medical aid for his son, Ayaan Patel, Rojas said.

The Hartford Courant describes a series of events which show the father allegedly did not take the child to the nearest hospital. The results from the post-mortem are still awaited and the cause of death will not be determined for a few weeks according to the medical examiner, the report says.

At about 11 p.m. Friday, Nov. 17, the baby’s mother called 911 and reported that she and Patel were arguing and that Patel had left her at a gas station on Tolland Turnpike in Manchester.

She then told police that Patel was drunk and had the baby in the car and might be headed to his parents’ house in Rocky Hill.

But both Manchester and Rocky Hill police were not able to find Patel.

Next day, the mother again called police in the evening saying Patel had called her to say the child had thrown up and was not breathing. She said Patel told her that he was at the Subway restaurant his family owns at 2858 Main St. in Glastonbury and that they should meet at the Residence Inn in Rocky Hill.

Glastonbury police checked the restaurant, but did not find Patel there.

Rocky Hill police also went to the Residence Inn and found the girlfriend, who was on the phone with Patel at the time. A Rocky Hill officer took the phone from her and spoke with Patel, who refused to disclose where he was.

Rocky Hill police began searching for Patel. A little later an officer went back to the Residence Inn and found Patel’s car in a back lot where he found Patel, his girlfriend, his wife and the baby.

The officer asked if everything was OK and they said “yes,” but the officer then checked the baby and found that he was not breathing and was also cold to the touch, the Courant reported.

The officer began CPR and the baby was taken to Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in

Hartford, where he was pronounced dead.
According to the police arrest report on which the Courant’s account is based, Patel and his girlfriend, the baby’s mother, had been staying in motels around the greater Hartford area for the past month. The baby was born about a month premature on Oct. 19 at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford and had jaundice at the time of birth.

Patel’s account talks about sleeping with the infant on the motel’s queen-size bed, Nov. 18 night, feeding him at 4 a.m., and falling asleep, only to find the baby not stirring when he woke up at 9:45 am. Many hours later, in the afternoon, Patel told police he put the baby in his car carrier and in the car, driving him to East Hartford/Manchester area, and noticed the child was not making any noise.

“Patel said he reached into the back seat and touched Ayaan’s head,” the report reads. “Patel said Ayaan was cold to the touch. Patel said he knew right away something was wrong so he pulled over on the side of the highway. Patel said he got out to check on [the baby] and noticed he was not breathing.” Patel told police he performed CPR on the baby and a clear liquid came out of his mouth and when detectives asked Patel if he had ever thought of calling 911, he said “he thought about bringing Ayaan to St. Francis Hospital, but he knew it was too late and there was nothing anyone could do for Ayaan.”