Norwalk, CT — A 22-year-old father faced a judge on Tuesday after being charged in connection with the death of his infant son.
Police said Jorge Chiclana was arrested at the Honeyspot Motor Inn in Stratford on Monday, a year after his 5-month-old son died.
They said that the baby, identified as Jacob Isaiah Chiclana, had alcohol in his system at the time of his death. According to court documents, the baby’s bottle was found to contain .20 percent ethanol and .25 percent alcohol by volume, meaning it was enough alcohol to be a 50-proof cocktail.
Investigators were called to an apartment complex on Ely Avenue in Norwalk on May 16, 2014, for a report of an unresponsive child.
The boy was rushed to the hospital, where doctors said they were unable to revive him.
Police said that the death appeared to be suspicious based on initial interviews and evidence gathered at the scene.
In March, the medical examiner’s office indicated that the baby had an elevated level of alcohol in his system.
According to court documents, when police arrived at the apartment, there was a strong odor of spray paint. Investigators found out that Chiclana had spray painted a toy car for the toddler, inside of the apartment. The child also had asthma.
At first the family thought maybe the little boy was overcome from the fumes from the spray paint.
“He had lots of problems, always had to give him the nebulizer every four hours, but even through that he was a champ, always smiling always laughing,” said Odalis Galarza, who is the mother of the 5-month-old child.
After hearing that there was alcohol found inside of the baby’s bottle, the child’s mother said she was surprised and said she didn’t keep alcohol in the home.
“I was speechless. I asked them ‘are you sure’,” Galarza said, referring to alcohol being in the child’s bottle. “I personally didn’t see him do it, but I do know he made the bottle and because it looked normal, I fed my son.”
However, according to court documents, Galarza told police “Jorge joked about giving the baby alcohol to help with the teething and sleeping” and she though “maybe he ‘kicked it up a notch’.”
Outside of the court room on Monday, Galarza said “If they have evidence, go ahead, lock him up and put him away. If he did that to his own son, I wouldn’t trust him around anybody else’s children.”
The autopsy determined that the child “most likely died due to the fact that the asthmatic infant was placed face down in the crib which could affect the child’s breathing due to the central nervous system being depressed due to the alcohol.”
The investigation took more than one year for an arrest to be made, and police said it was a lengthy process to test evidence, along with waiting for the final autopsy and toxicology reports from the state lab.
“So we have to evaluate all the information, we can’t just rush to conclusions. We have to make sure we have evidence that will point out whether the crime was committed or not,” said Norwalk Police Lt. Ashley Gonzalez.
Chiclana, of Bridgeport, was charged with manslaughter, risk of injury to a child and impairing the morals of children.
Police said his bail was set at $75,000.
He’s was arraigned in Norwalk Superior Court on Tuesday.