DCF Probed Family Before Toddler's Death

The Medical Examiner said the 3-year-old died of blunt trauma to the chest.

By Bob Connors and PJ DeCordova-Boyd
|  Saturday, Nov 26, 2011  |  Updated 11:50 AM EDT
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DCF Probed Family Before Toddler's Death

NBC Connecticut

Fredy Alexander Chingo Riz, 23, is accused of beating 3-year-old Athena Angeles to death Wednesday.

A 23-year-old man charged with killing his girlfriend's 3-year-old daughter appeared before a judge Friday.

Police arrested Fredy Alexander Chingo Riz, of Willimantic, on Thanksgiving Day for the beating death of 3-year-old Athena Angeles.

The Department of Children and Families said they were in the middle of investigating abuse allegations before the child's death earlier this week.

A spokesperson for DCF said the family had recently come to their attention after the child received medical attention but the department wasn't aware of the circumstances surrounding that medical intervention.

State police began an investigation Wednesday night after the 3-year-old victim, was taken from her home at 112 Hope Street in Willimantic to Windham Memorial Hospital in cardiac arrest. She died at the hospital.

Thursday, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner concluded the toddler died of blunt abdominal and chest trauma and ruled the death a homicide, police said.

Chingo Riz, an illegal immigrant here from Guatemala,  admitted to police he had punched the girl in the stomach several times, according to court documents. He told authorities he had beaten her at least two other times as well.

DCF said in a statement that they will conduct a review of their involvement with the family and examine the circumstances surrounding the lack of notification from medical professionals involved in the recent intervention.

Chingo Riz lived in the home with the 3-year-old victim and her mother. He was charged with manslaughter, risk of injury to a minor and assault.  He was held on $1.5 million bond.

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