Homeless teen mom charged in death of newborn

BRONXDALE - Police arrested and charged a homeless teenage mother Thursday morning in the killing of her newborn son.Investigators say Esther Pestrana, 17, gave birth in a bathtub Saturday and strangled her baby soon after.

Days before the incident, Lyspell Ocasio, of 1954 Unionport Road, took the teenager into her home. She says that the teen, who is living in the country illegally, appeared suicidal. Ocasio says she wanted to give the teen and her son a new life. She bought Pestrana clothes and was going to enroll her in a program for teen mothers.

Pestrana has been charged with manslaughter and is facing 25 years to life in prison if convicted.

Officials are reminding the public that the Safe Haven Law exists to protect babies whose parents are unable to care for them. Parents can leave their newborn babies in police precincts, firehouses, hospitals, schools, churches or with an adult who can care for them, no questions asked.

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