Home Top Stories Florida parents charged with manslaughter after toddler son found floating in nearby pond

Florida parents charged with manslaughter after toddler son found floating in nearby pond

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Florida parents charged with manslaughter after toddler son found floating in nearby pond

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Two Sanford, Florida parents have been charged with manslaughter after their 3-year-old toddler was found floating in a pond near their apartment, according to police.

FOX 35 in Orlando reported that the Sanford Police Department responded to reports of a missing 3-year-old boy at about 3:15 p.m. on Saturday, at the Crosby at Towne Center apartments.

Responding officers learned the boy was diagnosed with autism and his father, Lester Ortiz, said he was last seen 30 minutes before law enforcement arrived.

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Barbara Luiz mugshot

Barbara Luiz booking photo (Seminole County Sheriffs Office)

The boy’s mother, Barbara Luiz, told officers her son was in the living room of the apartment while she was in the bathroom at about 12:40 p.m.

At one point, the mother said she heard a door open and close and had her teenage daughter investigate, the station reported.

But the teenager was unaware the toddler had left, and the child’s parents started searching for him.

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Crosby at Town Center Apartments

Two parents at the Crosby at Town Center Apartments in Sanford, Florida were arrested and charged with manslaughter after their 3-year-old son was found floating in a pond behind the apartment, according to police. (Google Maps)

Investigators discovered the toddler went missing at least three other times before, and at those times, a neighbor located the boy and took him to the front office of the development.

Police also reported the apartment smelled of “freshly smoked marijuana,” and was “in a state of disarray,” FOX 4 reported.

Shortly after arriving, officers spotted an “unknown object” in a nearby pond behind the apartment, and realized it was the child.

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Luiz and Ortiz were both arrested and charged with aggravated manslaughter of a child. 

The Seminole County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to a request from Fox News Digital seeking a booking photo for Ortiz.

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