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May 23, 2023
Eric Baez Allegedly Left Her Child Alone in the Pool at the Melville Marriot Hotel While She Drank at the Bar (SUFFOLK COUNTY, N.Y.) – Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney today announced the indictment of Erica Baez, 41, for Manslaughter in the Second Degree and two counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child, stemming from the death of her daughter, Katlyn Pineda on May 1, 2023. “The alleged actions of this defendant were selfish, senseless and heartless,” said District Attorney Tierney. “We are going to do everything we can to ensure that justice is served for little Katlyn, whose short life ended too soon.” According to the investigation, on January 13, 2022, Baez, of the Bronx, was a guest at the Melville Marriot Hotel. She was staying with her boyfriend, her 5-month-old son, and her 7-year-old daughter, Katlyn Pineda. The defendant’s boyfriend had left the hotel early in the morning to go to work in the area. At approximately 3:30 p.m., Baez allegedly asked hotel staff at the front desk to open the pool gate for the indoor atrium pool. 2 Hotel staff advised Baez that she was required to be present with her daughter at all times since there was no lifeguard on duty. Baez, however, allegedly left Katlyn playing inside the pool alone as she sat at the hotel bar eating and drinking an alcoholic cocktail. After approximately 30 minutes, Baez returned to the pool to check on Katlyn, who was still unsupervised inside the pool, and then allegedly left her for a second time. Baez then went upstairs to her room, where her 5- month-old son was staying unsupervised, before returning to the hotel bar for a second alcoholic cocktail. The defendant allegedly did not return to check on Katlyn again for over 30 minutes. When Baez returned and observed that her child was floating lifeless in the pool, she removed her shoes and socks and set aside her phone before removing her daughter from the pool. When members of the Melville Fire Department and Suffolk County Police Department arrived at the Melville Marriot, Katlyn was pulseless and in cardiac arrest. Baez told the first responders that Katlyn had only been alone for five minutes. A Suffolk County Police Department EMT performed CPR along with a paramedic before rushing the child to the hospital. The heroic efforts of the Melville Fire Department paramedic and the EMT successfully restarted Katlyn’s heart, however the damage to her brain from the lack of oxygen was irreversible, and she remained dependent on a ventilator and feeding tube. Katlyn was treated in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Cohen’s Children’s Hospital for almost two months before being transferred to a long-term care facility in New Jersey. On May 1, 2023, Katlyn became septic and passed away. On May 15, 2023, Baez was arrested by the Suffolk County Police Department in Manhattan with the assistance of the United States Marshals Service New York/New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force. On May 16, 2023, Baez was arraigned before Acting Supreme Court Justice, the Honorable Steven A. Pilewski who ordered she be held without bail. Baez’s next court date is on May 24, 2023. The lead investigator on this case is Suffolk County Police Detective Brendan O’Hara. 3 This case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Michelle Haddad, under the supervision of Timothy Gough, Chief of the Homicide Bureau, and Raphael Pearl, Chief of the Child Abuse and Domestic Violence Bureau. 

Suffolk County PBA
500 Expressway Dr South
Brentwood, NY 11717

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