The night Candace Parrow allegedly strangled her 4-month-old daughter to death, a neighbor heard her yell, “Not again, they are going to blame me,” according to charging documents.
Parrow, 23, was charged Monday with homicide, aggravated assault and strangulation after an investigation into the death of her infant daughter July 16 at her Elizabethtown apartment. The infant was named Camillia Mulero, according to Facebook posts.
After police came to her Orange Street home, Parrow told them she had a child who died over a year ago. The 3-month-old boy died while Parrow was living in Syracuse, according to the Lancaster County district attorney’s office.
The D.A.’s office and the Elizabethtown Police Department said Tuesday they're coordinating with police in Syracuse, New York, to share information on both cases. Syracuse police did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday.
The boy died under similar circumstances, according to charging documents. He was found unresponsive by a relative after Parrow put him down to sleep. An obituary from the Syracuse Post Standard names him as D'Yante Gillette, who died Oct. 14, 2016.
Her son’s cause of death in 2016 was undetermined in a report from the Syracuse Police Department, according to the local charging documents filed against Parrow on Monday. Criminal charges were not filed against Parrow in that case.
“We are making no allegations as to what caused that child's death, but it is certainly something we are aware of and is being looked at by the police department with jurisdiction,” said Brett Hambright, district attorney's office spokesman.
More details on death
Investigators found Parrow’s Orange Street apartment filled with dirty dishes, rotted trash, marijuana paraphernalia and half-consumed alcoholic beverages, according to police. Camillia’s bed was a changing table cushion placed on top of an air mattress, police said.
Charging documents detail what happened the night of Camillia’s death.
Around 10 p.m., a neighbor called 911 to report screaming and loud thuds from Parrow's apartment at 9:30 and 9:45 p.m. Parrow was home alone.
At 10:04 p.m., another neighbor said he heard Parrow screaming, “Not again, they are going to blame me,” according to charging documents.
At 10:06 p.m. Parrow called 911. She struggled to tell the dispatcher her address or say what happened, but “sporadically screamed” into the phone. While Parrow was on the phone, she pounded on a different neighbor's door. She screamed that her daughter was not breathing.
The neighbor went upstairs with Parrow and saw that the child appeared “beyond help,” according to the affidavit.
Police arrived at 10:07 p.m. and found the girl unresponsive and discolored. She was taken to Hershey Medical Center and pronounced dead. A Dauphin County coroner ruled her death a homicide by strangulation and suffocation.
Parrow told police she put her daughter down to sleep while she went to do dishes and found her dead 10 minutes later.
She also said she had a child who died just over a year ago and she couldn't go through this again, the affidavit said. She was hysterical, so an ambulance was called to take her to Hershey Medical Center. Her demeanor became calm just before she left in the ambulance, police said.
History of struggle
The girl's father, who officials did not identify, told police Parrow struggled when her daughter cried and had a history of suicidal thoughts.
Sometimes they would come to work with him and sit in his car. He said he would find both baby and mother crying in the car, according to the affidavit. He did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday.
Berks County Children and Youth documented an issue with detachment between Parrow and her daughter in a Feb. 14 report. During the unspecified incident, Parrow made threats of suicide and grabbed a pair of scissors, according to charging documents.
Elizabethtown police Det. Dustin Ryan said he didn’t have more details on what happened, but he said Berks County authorities passed along the information when Parrow moved out of state earlier this year.
“I believe that Berks County did everything correctly,” Ryan said.
Ryan, who filed the charges against Parrow, declined to say where she moved after Berks County or when she moved to Lancaster County. On her Facebook page, Parrow wrote May 26 that she was leaving Syracuse and going to Pennsylvania.
Ryan said he was not aware of any issues with Parrow that came up with Lancaster County's Children and Youth Services.
Parrow remains in Lancaster County Prison without bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled Aug. 27 before District Judge Robert A. Herman Jr.