7-week-old dies after babysitter's alleged abuse - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

7-week-old's death investigated as homicide after babysitter's alleged abuse

Laura Flores-Santillian is charged with child endangering and felonious assault. (Source: Summit County Jail) Laura Flores-Santillian is charged with child endangering and felonious assault. (Source: Summit County Jail)
The home where Flores-Santillian ran her daycare. (Source: WOIO) The home where Flores-Santillian ran her daycare. (Source: WOIO)
Neighbor Lisa Orr doesn't know what to believe. (Source: WOIO) Neighbor Lisa Orr doesn't know what to believe. (Source: WOIO)
AKRON, OH (WOIO) -

A 49-year-old woman accused of abusing a 7-week-old baby appeared in court Monday, the same day the infant died.

Lisa Orr answered her door on Thursday morning and was in disbelief about what she saw.

"It was Laura from across the street, and she was holding the dead baby," said Orr.

Orr's neighbor, 49-year-old Laura Flores-Santillian begged her to call police, as she was holding the seemingly lifeless body of the infant she was watching at her home across the street. 

"I was so scared," said Orr. 

Police were called to the home on Chalker Street, where they found 7-week-old Emily Cortes unresponsive. She was rushed to Akron Children's Hospital and put on life support. On Monday, she was taken off of it.

According to Lt. Edwards, Flores-Santillian does not speak English and ran a daycare out of her home. Other children were present at the time of the incident, but were not harmed. 

Flores-Santillian was arrested and charged with child endangering and felonious assault. She is being held in the Summit County Jail on $1 million bond.

The Summit County Medical Examiner and Akron Police Department are investigating this case as a suspected homicide. Police say there could be more charges, but have not released details as to how the infant was hurt.

"We do know that there was some activity that caused that child to have severe trauma to her head and to her brain," said Akron Police Capt. Daniel Zampelli. 

An autopsy will be performed on Tuesday.

Neighbors say Flores-Santillian has been running a daycare out of her home on Chalker for seven years, and she watches around seven children at a time. 

On Monday, Flores-Santillian's lawyer interviewed a witness inside of her home, and says the incident is not what it seems. 

Orr says she also has her own suspicions about who harmed the child.

"I honestly don't know what happened, but I don't believe Laura hurt the baby," said Orr. 

Orr says regardless of who committed the crime, she wants the person to be punished. 

"This is what I hope: Whoever and whatever happened to the baby comes to the light, and justice is served," said Orr. 

Stay with 19 Action News for more on this developing story.

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