Arundel man charged in death of 17-month-old baby

January 17, 1998|By Laura Sullivan | Laura Sullivan,SUN STAFF

In an article Saturday about the death of 17-month-old Nicholas Robert Alford, the child's mother was misidentified. His mother is Karla Alford.

The Sun regrets the errors.

An Anne Arundel County man has been charged with murder in the death of the 17-month-old baby his girlfriend was caring for while the parents were out to dinner Tuesday night.

Police charged Zenon Cantu, 25, of the 700 block of Duvall Highway in Pasadena with first-degree murder yesterday in the death of Nicholas Robert Alford.

FOR THE RECORD - CORRECTION

The parents did not realize their son was dead until the next morning, police said.

Police would not discuss how the baby was killed, but a Baltimore medical examiner determined that he died of severe blows to his head.

"This was not an accidental death," said Sgt. Edward Bergin, "but we are not commenting on a motive at this time."

The baby's parents, Scott and Cheryl Alford of Crofton, went out to dinner early Tuesday evening, police said, leaving their three children, a 9-year-old girl, a 6-year-old boy and Nicholas in the care of a baby sitter police would not identify.

The baby sitter invited her boyfriend, Cantu, to the house later, police said. A person police will not identify saw the baby alone with Cantu just after 7: 30 p.m., about the time the medical examiner determined the baby died, police said.

The baby-sitter was in the house with the other two children, police said.

Kristen Riggin, spokeswoman for the state's attorney's office, said it is unlikely anyone else will be charged.

Riggin and other police officers said they had rarely heard of a baby dying while in the care of a sitter in Anne Arundel County.

Cantu is being held at the Anne Arundel Detention Center without bail.

Pub Date: 1/17/98

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