Rocky Hill father appears in court; faces charges for infant’s death

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ROCKY HILL --  Divya Patel, 34, was arraigned in New Britain Superior Court Monday where he was charged in connection with his one month old child’s death.

During the arraignment, the judge stated more information is expected to come in the coming weeks as they wait for the Medical Examiner’s autopsy of the infant to determine a cause of death.

The arrest warrant states he and the baby’s mother have been living from hotel to hotel since the baby was born.  Patel also told police the baby had been born prematurely and suffered some health issues.

The warrant also states that on Saturday evening, Patel called the baby’s mother and said the baby was not breathing.  The mother told police she tried to get him to meet her at Saint Francis Hospital, but he never showed up.  Instead, he told the mother to meet him at the Marriot Residence Inn in Rocky Hill.

In her police sworn statement, the mother said she last saw her baby alive around 5 a.m., Saturday before she left the Residence Inn to go stay at another hotel, because she and Patel had a fight.

Patel told police that he had the infant in the back seat of his car Saturday when he noticed something was wrong.  He said he pulled over on the highway and felt that the baby was cold.  He tried doing CPR and called the baby’s mother who ultimately called 911, according to police records.

After the 911 call, police tried to track Patel down for roughly 30 minutes, eventually meeting up with him and the child’s mother in the Residence Inn parking lot.

Patel told police later he thought of bringing the baby to the hospital, but thought it was too late.  Patel was charged with risk of injury to a minor and tampering with evidence.

In Patel’s statement to police, he said that the baby had been sleeping in the bed with the couple because they didn’t have a crib.  He said that sometimes he used an airplane neck pillow under the infant’s head or that he used a pillow to cover the baby’s lower half, but never the baby’s face. He stated that the baby “liked it and it made him feel snug,” but said he did not have a pillow over the infant while they slept at the Residence Inn the night before the baby died.

The arrest warrant also states that Patel is in the middle of a divorce with another woman different from the infant’s mother.

During Monday’s arraignment, Patel’s defense lawyer said Patel and his family own a Subway restaurant in Glastonbury and that he’s lived in Connecticut for about 15 years.

The state argued Patel is a potential flight risk because he and the child’s mother had plans to move to Florida.

Monday, the judge ordered Patel be held on $1 million bond and he is due back in court December 5th. The police investigation is open and active and more charges could be pending.