Disturbing details in baby starvation case - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Disturbing details in baby starvation case

Through 5 hours of interviews, all Alejandro Aleman and Kristen Meyer could do was deny, deny, deny. 

Deny ttheir child was withering away, deny their walls were covered in feces, the laundry room full of clothes drenched in mildew

The two parents had just been charged with the first-degree murder of their 13-month-old daughter, Tayla Aleman. Detectives say she was severely malnourished, weighing only 7 pounds.

As the interviews went on, it was clear detectives were losing patience. 

"You guys never took Tayla to the doctor to find out what's going on and all she did was lose weight lose weight and not put on any weight. No one ever noticed it and she didn't have any teeth, that's not normal for a 13-month-old, said Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office Detective Vionide St. Jean to Alejandro Aleman.

His reply? "Is there a law, I'm not trying to be a (expletive) about it, but is there a law that your baby has to go to the doctor."

Detective St. John responded, "Yes it's called medical treatment."

"I never starved my children, why would I starve her?" asked Kristen Meyer, when she was confronted about Tayla's weight. Tayla wore clothes fit for a 3-month-old. 

The couple had 10 other children, who are now in the care of DCF.

People living in the Aleman's Royal Palm Beach neighborhood told me those parents didn't pay much attention to their other children.

"They would usually let their children just kind of go all through the neighborhood and they wouldn't keep any eye on them. Mess up people's car and scratch them," said Tripp Hartson. 

Another neighbor said Meyer would lock their kids out of the home, and tell them not to come back until after dark.

A third neighbor added the kids would often beg for food and water. 

"They were actually out front my house with baseball bats and other various weapons and I called the police on them twice," said Hartson.

DCF Investigated the family 4 times before Tayla's death. The agency admits it failed to properly investigate. On several state checks, investigators did not speak with all of the children.

Detectives say some of those children, as old as 14, "could not even say their names." 

Both Aleman and Meyer face the death penalty. A trial is set for January.

Contact 5 reached out to DCF early Friday for a status update on the 10 other children, and to ask what happened to the investigators in charge of the case. DCF did not respond. 

 

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