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Baby dies days after father allegedly smothered her to muffle crying

AngelPetrov RigoberRodriguez

Angela Petrov and Rigoberto Rodriguez

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Updated: April 16, 2013 1:12AM

A 5-month-old West Rogers Park girl has died, days after her after her father allegedly covered her mouth repeatedly to muffle her cries.

Angelina Rodriguez, of the 2500 block of West Fitch, was pronounced dead at Lurie Children’s Hospital at 3:36 p.m. Monday, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Her parents — Rodrigo Rodriguez, 29, and Angela Petrov, 21 — were arrested and charged with aggravated battery after the baby was found injured Thursday in her West Rogers Park home.

Both remain jailed in lieu of $5 million bond.

Chicago police could not say Monday evening whether charges against the parents have been upgraded because the baby died.

At a bond court hearing Sunday, Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Stephanie Buck told Judge James Brown the couple were drinking Hennessy in the room where their daughter was sleeping in her playpen and the girl began to cry.

Petrov picked up the crying baby and gave her a bottle, authorities said. But the girl’s cries continued, so Rodriguez took her from Petrov and put the girl on a bed, Buck said in court.

Rodriguez then put his hand over the girl’s mouth to stop her from crying, Buck said. The crying stopped, and he removed his hand, but it started again, authorities said. So Rodriguez put his hand over his baby’s mouth a second time, Buck told the court.

Again the crying stopped, Buck said, and Rodriguez removed his hand. But the little girl only gasped for air and began to cry once more. That’s when Buck said Rodriguez put his hand over the girl’s mouth a third time until she stopped crying and her body went limp, authorities alleged.

Petrov was present each time he did this, Buck said, saw the baby go limp and did nothing. Buck said Rodriguez put the baby back in her playpen, and then the couple had sex and went to sleep.

Around 7 a.m. the next morning, Buck said, Petrov got up to get another child in the home ready for school, and then she went back to sleep. Rivera said there are three children in the home, and two belong to Rodriguez.

Both parents got up around 11 am. and finally noticed their baby “stiff and unresponsive in the playpen,” Buck told the court.

The couple tried throwing water on the girl’s face and doing CPR, Buck said, and Petrov called 911 and the child was taken to the hospital for treatment of her injuries. Doctors also noticed older skull fractures while examining the girl, authorities said.

A spokesman for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, said the couple were being investigated for an allegation of abuse involving another child based on a call received on Jan. 29.

That investigation was still pending.

Contributing: Jon Seidel

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