Father demands answers in death of 2-year-old girl

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MAMARONECK -

A grieving father and his attorney are demanding answers about the death of a toddler in Mamaroneck on Saturday following a disturbing domestic incident that led police to shoot the child’s mother.

News 12 has learned that the death of 2-year-old Gabriella Maria came just one day after police were given a court order to get the girl from the Chestnut Avenue home where she lived with her mother, 28-year-old Cynthia Arce. A judge had signed the order after the child's father, Stephen Boyd, argued that Arce was a danger to their child.

Boyd and his attorney, Martin Rosen, are now demanding to know how the child died, and why police allegedly failed to fulfill that court order.

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"[Boyd] brought to the attention some rather bizarre behavior of the mother, that she was diagnosed with bipolar, that she had made multiple attempts of suicide," Rosen says.

But when police went to the mother's home Friday, only one day before the child's death, she reportedly refused to give up Gabriella. Police allegedly left without the child, citing a need for authority from superiors.

"I've never seen a case where there's a court order and the police refused to execute it," Rosen says.

Just 24 hours later, police were called back to Arce's home, where Gabriella was dying or already dead. As police attempted lifesaving measures on the child, authorities say the girl's mother, armed with a knife, attacked and injured two officers. Police say they used a Taser on Arce, then shot her.

Arce survived and was hospitalized, but Gabriella was pronounced dead. Now Boyd and his lawyer are pleading with police for answers.

"The only contact I've had with police and the assistant DA was on Friday late in the day, and throughout many hours the evening, begging them, telling them, that if God forbid, anything happens to this little girl, there's going to be holy hell to pay," Rosen says.

News 12 reached out multiple times to Mamaroneck police to ask why the custody order wasn't fulfilled. But News 12 was told to direct all inquiries to police to a Westchester-based law firm.

News 12 reached out to the law firm representing the Village of Mamaroneck, which says it is still investigating the facts of the case.

The cause of Gabriella’s death remains unclear. The attorney for the child's father is hopeful that autopsy results due in the next several days will show how the child died.

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