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UPDATED: New London police charge city woman in death of her 4-year-old son

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New London — Police have charged a 33-year-old city woman with murder in connection with the death Sunday morning of her 4-year-old son at 242 Nautilus Drive.

Tiffany Farrauto of 242 Nautilus Drive, Apt. 208, was also charged with risk of injury to a minor and was being held in lieu of a $1 million bond. She is scheduled to be arraigned Monday in New London Superiort Court.

During an emotional news conference at police headquarters late Sunday afternoon, police did not immediately release the name of the boy or his cause of death. They said an autopsy would be done Monday morning. 

"It's been a tough day for the city," Mayor Michael Passero said during the news conference. "We lost a second child in the city to violence in as many weeks, this time a 4-year-old. Our community is hurting. I want to express my condolences to the grieving family of this small child. As we are a small city, we really are just one big family, so we all share in a loss like this."

Passero was referring to the Feb. 17 shooting that claimed the life of Ronde Ford, a 17-year-old New London High School football player and aspiring rapper. No one has been charged in that slaying.

Police said that at 6:27 am, they responded to the parking lot of 242 Nautilus Drive after receiving a report of a woman damaging a vehicle with a bat. When police arrived they contacted the owner of the vehicle.

While police spoke with the vehicle owner, they said he pointed Farrauto out to police. When police approached her, they said she told them to "take me away" because she had strangled her son who was in their apartment. Police immediately went to the apartment, went inside and found the boy unconscious. Officers, firefighters and a Lawrence + Memorial Hospital paramedic began CPR and brought the boy to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. 

Farrauto was also brought to the hospital after police obtained a warrant to collect her DNA.

City police detectives, the New London Fire Department, the New London State’s Attorney's Office, the state police Major Crime Unit-Eastern District, and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner all responded to the scene.

Police said their "deepest condolences and sympathy" go out to the family of the child. 

While many Nautilus Drive residents told The Day they were unaware of the boy's death this morning, a few who were awake in the early morning hours recall hearing a sound like a windshield breaking shortly after 6 a.m.

One tenant, Jim McGovern, said he spoke with police around 7 a.m. and they asked him if he saw a woman wielding a baseball bat. 

Rachel Castillo said she heard a woman screaming around 5:30 a.m., but it wasn’t out of the ordinary as she had heard this woman being loud before. She said she saw a woman outside yelling “screw you” or “you screwed up” at 6:11 a.m. 

Multiple neighbors said they had heard a woman in the apartment complex being verbally abusive to a child in recent weeks. It is unclear if this was Farrauto. 

“I just learned that this involves a child, and I’m upset. If people heard someone yelling at a kid before this, why didn’t they call the police?” Castillo said. “This is a quiet neighborhood. There’s never been anything like this before.”

Police said Farrauto and the boy had moved into the apartment in November. 

Police Chief Peter Reichard and Fire Chief Thomas Curcio both said resources were provided to first responders for their well being after seeing something so traumatic.

"It's not easy," Reichard said. "I was there at the crime scene while the child was being transported to the hospital, so I talked to the officers who first arrived at the scene. They were choked up by it. All of them have children, a couple have children the same age, and it hits home, it hits you right in the guts."

Anyone with information concerning the investigation is encouraged to contact detectives at (860) 447-1481 or anonymous information may be submitted via the New London Tips 411 system by texting NLPDTip plus the information to Tip411 (847411).

s.spinella@theday.com

j.wojtas@theday.com

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