Nutbag Parents Give Infant Vodka
A couple accused of killing their infant child with a lethal dose of alcohol have turned themselves in to police.
BY WANDA J. DeMARZO
Mardala Derival and Mackenson Dantus calmly walked into a New Jersey police station Thursday shortly after 12:30 p.m. and asked an officer to call a Fort Lauderdale police detective.
When an officer at the Trenton, N.J., station ran an arrest search, it became clear why the couple had wandered in. The two were wanted on aggravated manslaughter charges in the alcohol-poisoning death of their 3-month-old daughter, Makeisha. Fort Lauderdale police had issued an arrest warrant for the couple in October.
On Valentine's Day 2004, the couple fed baby Makeisha a concoction of vodka, water, sugar and Tylenol, police said. The infant died.
Fort Lauderdale police issued a warrant for their arrest after toxicology reports showed the child had a blood alcohol level of .47. That's the level an average-size adult would have after chugging 18 beers, said Dr. Ronald Wright, a forensic consultant and former Broward County medical examiner.
The surrender came two hours after a conversation between Dantus and the Broward Sheriff's Office fugitive unit, BSO spokeswoman Liz Calzadilla-Fiallo said. They're now awaiting extradition to Florida.
According to police documents released Tuesday, test results on the infant revealed that the child was fed a little over an ounce of vodka shortly before her death.
''This is more than a lethal range,'' Dr. Wright said. The usual lethal range of alcohol levels is .25 to .35, said Wright, who isn't involved in the case.
The baby had colic and was running a fever so they decided to use a remedy they learned in their native Haiti.
''These type deaths are very rare,'' said Broward Medical Examiner Joshua Perper. ``People do things that are very unhealthy for children, they leave them in cars when it is hot outside. ... They do unreasonable things.''
Some news items just make you sick in the pit of your stomach. They make you want to reach through the television, reach through the newspaper, reach through the computer and shake the shit out of someone.