Florida woman Erica Rosello has been charged with child neglect after allegedly leaving her child in a burning apartment. People Magazine reports that the 32-year-old mother has lost custody of her child in wake of last week’s bizarre incident. Meanwhile, folks on social media are wondering if the mom was trying to murder her child. Are suspicions about the woman correct, or was the incident the result of a panic and misunderstanding?
The details surrounding last Thursday’s incident are damning, indicating that Erica Rosello tried to lie about the fire that ignited in her apartment. New York Daily News reports that a neighbor of the Florida woman called authorities after she fled from the place. The witness claims that he saw smoke coming from under the door of the apartment as the woman exited it. When he asked if there was a fire, she directly responded that there was no fire, according to police. This didn’t stop him from calling for help, which is absolutely fortunate. The 32-year-old Florida mom allegedly left her five-year-old daughter in the apartment.
When firefighters arrived at the scene, the apartment was indeed on fire. Erica Rosello also allegedly fled from the property at this time. It was fortunate for the child that she was rescued by firefighters, but she had to be taken to the hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation.
— Fawzia Suleman (@Fawzia786) February 23, 2016
— Scallywagandvagabond (@ScallywagNYC) February 22, 2016
The sentiments being expressed on social media are mixed, with some people expressing outright anger at the Florida mom for what happened. Other social media users are sympathetic about reports that Rosello suffers from postpartum depression. Loved ones of the Florida woman say that she had recently gone off of her medication, choosing to go for a “natural” approach to dealing with it. Her mother told media reporters that she had been self-medicating with teas and other “herbal remedies.”
— People Magazine (@people) April 24, 2015
Postpartum depression isn’t an uncommon condition. However, the most extreme cases have reportedly pushed mothers to commit unthinkable crimes. In extreme cases, postpartum depression is sometimes referred to as postpartum psychosis, a term that has helped in sparing some mothers from criminal convictions and harsh prison sentences. One mother that comes to mind is Andrea Yates. The Texas mom drowned all five of her children — one by one — in the bathtub in her family home. Because she had been suffering from postpartum psychosis (and had a history of it), she was spared from prison, to the anger of many in the public. Sometimes postpartum depression can lead to suicide, such as the case of Anna Oung. The California woman’s body was found in the trunk of her own car, which was suspicious at first. However, authorities quickly ruled that she had put herself in the trunk and committed suicide. She had been suffering from postpartum depression after giving birth to her child. There’s no doubt that postpartum depression can be dangerous in extreme cases.
On Saturday, Erica Rosello appeared in court to be formally charged with child neglect. Reports share that she broke down and cried during her initial court appearance. Meanwhile, her child is in the custody of her grandmother. It is not known at this time if Rosello has permanently lost custody of her child, but given the circumstances of her case it’s fortunate that someone else is caring for the five-year-old girl.
[Photo via Miami-Dade Police mugshot]