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News10NBC Investigates: 7 months later, why can't anyone tell a mother how her son died?

June 25, 2018 06:48 PM

Seven months after her son died suddenly inside a group home in Rochester, the mother of Luis Minllety still can't get anyone to tell her how and why he died.

She and her new lawyer reached out to News10NBC Chief Investigative Reporter Berkeley Brean for help.

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Luis Minllety was the second person to die in a state-regulated group home in Monroe County last year.

Luis died just before Christmas. After News10NBC started digging into this case last week, the Monroe County Medical Examiner finally delivered the official cause of death report to Rochester police Monday. 

And police finally contacted Minllety's mother. 
     
"I couldn't believe that my son died with no explanation," Mildred Gonzalez told News10NBC through a video chat from her home in Boston last Friday. She told News10NBC that no one would tell her how and why her son Luis died. 

"I asked God to help me find out what happened. I don't want to let it go. I don't want this to happen to other kids," Gonzalez said.  

Luis Minllety died inside his group home on December 7. 

The home is run by the Ibero-American Action League and regulated by New York State.

In a phone conversation with News10NBC Friday, Ibero says staff had an 'intervention' with Minllety the day he died.

'Intervention' can include physically moving a person from one point to another or taking a person to the ground.

Ibero told me three employees who worked with Luis on December 7 were suspended without pay.

Ibero says two are back working under supervision. A third employee doesn't work with Ibero anymore.

After an intervention led to the death of Heather Roselli at her group home in Webster run by Finger Lakes Developmental Disabilities Services last year, two staff members were indicted by a Monroe County Grand Jury for manslaughter. 

News10NBC asked to look at inspection reports of the Ibero group home by the state Office of People With Developmental Disabilities but the agency says it does not publish the inspection reports. 

"She wants to know why he died and if anyone is responsible," attorney Scott Charnas said.

Last week News10NBC was contacted via email by Mr. Charnas who is Mildred Gonzalez's attorney. Mr. Charnas works in New York City.

Gonzalez hired him when no one would talk to her.

News10NBC Chief Investigative Reporter Berkeley Brean: "What would you like to see happen here?"

Scott Charnas, attorney for Luis Minllety's mother: "We want to get to the truth, whatever the truth is. Let the chips fall where they may. If it was an accident, then so be it. But if someone was responsible for it, not only should that person be punished, but there may be other people at that facility or someplace else that may be at risk of the same fate."

Monroe County says the Medical Examiner's autopsy of Luis Minllety did not reveal how he died.

The ME's official cause of death is a product of the autopsy and Rochester Police investigation notes.

The County says the ME's office received a draft report by the RPD on May 23. 

The County provided News10NBC with a screenshot of the email of the final cause of death report. It was emailed from the ME's office to Rochester police Monday. 

"I want so much the responsible people to pay for what they did to my son," Gonzalez said.  

After going months with no one talking to her, Ms. Gonzalez says an RPD investigator returned her phone call Monday. Gonzalez told News10NBC that she was asked not to share what she was told. 


 

Credits

Berkeley Brean

Copyright 2018 - WHEC-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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