LIVERMORE (KRON) — A 20-year-old caretaker was arrested after a hidden nanny camera caught the woman allegedly suffocating a 13-month-old boy when he wouldn’t stop crying, police said.
Moriah Gonzalez, 20, was arrested on Feb. 19 for felony child abuse and was booked into Santa Rita Jail.
Gonzales was hired as a nanny through the popular babysitting website Care.com.
According to police, the parents of the boy, identified only as Amanda and Nicole, reported the abuse in the early morning hours of Feb. 18 and turned over the video footage of the alleged abuse.
The nanny camera hidden in the boy’s room shows Gonzales apparently trying to put him down for a nap when he wouldn’t stop crying.
In the video, the child’s cry can be heard as Gonzales paces the room. She lowers him into the crib then puts her hands near his face. As her hands move closer to the boy’s face, his cry becomes muffled.
After a few seconds, the boy begins to kick and squirm, according to the police report. He then went limp.
Gonzales lifted him out of the crib and removed her hands from his face. Once her hands moved from his face, his cry is heard once again.
She then puts him back in the crib and leaves the room.
Nicole discovered the footage when she returned home on Feb. 18 at 3 p.m. She told Gonzales she could leave but did not tell her what she had discovered.
Police contacted Gonzales the next day and asked her about the incident. Gonzales gave police a story that was inconsistent to the video and denied hurting the boy in any way.
Gonzales’ arraignment is scheduled for Friday.
Statement from Care.com:
“We are deeply troubled by this incident and our thoughts are with the family. The safety of our community is of paramount importance to us and we have proactively contacted local law enforcement to provide whatever assistance we can in this matter.”
Care.com spokeswoman Nancy Bushkin offered the following advice for those wanting to hire a nanny or babysitter:
We recommend that families purchase a background check once they have narrowed down their candidates to their top choice but they can be purchased at any time in the process.
Yes, families typically purchase the checks and have to ask the caregiver to agree since they need to get private information, like a SSN, from the caregiver to have the check run. Caregivers are also able to purchase and run a background check on themselves to have on file.
As for costs:
The Criminal Records Check is $59
The Criminal Records Check + MVR Records Check is $79
The Investigative Criminal Plus Check is $300
We also offer the MVR Records Check a la carte to caregivers only and that costs $20.