Foster parents arrested for abusing baby

Posted on 01/21/2011 By STEVE KOBAK
Hour Staff Writer

A pair of Westport foster parents were arrested for abusing a 6-month-old infant Wednesday after a six-month investigation that began when the infant was admitted to Norwalk Hospital, suffering from Shaken Baby Syndrome, police said.
Debbie DeCarvalho, 42, and Mario Leone, 38, were each charged with first-degree assault and risk of injury to a minor. Both suspects posted $50,000 bond and will appear in court Jan. 28.
The couple had four foster children, including the infant, and the Department of Children and Families removed the children from their custody when the investigation began, according to Lt. Vincent Penna, a spokesman for the Westport Police Department.
Leone and DeCarvalho admitted the infant to Norwalk Hospital on July 2, and the infant's condition triggered a red flag with doctors, who suspected child abuse and called police, according to an affidavit.
The infant, who had only been in the foster parents' care for three weeks before the incident, was taken to Westchester Medical Center because of the severity of the infant's injuries, police said.
Leone and DeCarvalho took the baby to the hospital because it had a "seizure-like episode," but doctors discovered that the infant had bleeding in the brain and a skull fracture, according to police.
Doctors said the wounds were "indicative" of Shaken Baby Syndrome, police said.
DeCarvalho told a Norwalk Hospital pediatrician that "the baby had not experienced any accidental falls or blunt trauma," according to court documents.