Employees from the Memphis Seoul restaurant below the apartment where 9-year-old Shalom Guifarro was found dead called the owner, Bart Hubbuch on Sunday to report a smell coming from the apartment. Employees said it was, “almost like sewage dripping into the restaurant from the apartment,” the New York Post reported.
When authorities arrived at the apartment, 9-year-old Shalom Guifarro was found dead with trauma to her head and bite marks on her back. Shemene Cato, 48, was arrested and charged with the brutal death of 9-year-old daughter Shalom Guifarro. Fox News 5 says that there is not much detail but that Cato is said the be Shalom Guifarro’s mother.
Shemene Cato worked for the city’s human resource administration and neighbors describe her as “an angry mother” that was always screaming and cursing her children. Police old the New York Daily News that Shalom’s angry mother, “spanked her and put her in timeout”. Cato called the police at about 1pm to say that her daughter wasn’t breathing.
Shalom Guifarro.’s 13-year-old sister told police that “their mother had a temper tantrum and punished Shalom by spanishing her and putting her on timeout,” the 13-year-old girl then went on to tell The Outlet that “she and the mother then went into the kitchen to eat and found Shalom unconscious afterward”.
A branch was found in Shalom’s bedroom, a “curved piece” of furniture, and an extension cord was found by investigators in the apartment. They believe that the extension cord was the murder weapon. Investigators told the outlet that Shalom’s back was severely bruised and the left side of her head and left ear were swollen. Investigators also said that her knuckles were bruised.
Neighbors say that they heard “constant arguing” coming from the apartment and The Post reports that police had responded to the family’s home for 14 separate domestic violence reports before Shalom was found dead Sunday. The mother was the alleged victim in most of the reports and none of the calls involved child abuse and the Administration for Children’s Services had never been called to the apartment, officials said.
Most of the reports are said to involve complaints from Cato that her ex was allegedly harassing her. Cato told police that he vandalized her car and she allegedly accused the man of child abuse. Police say that when they investigated they did not find child abuse in that instance.
“The father was just here, and he got questioned by the cops and stormed off,” Hubbuch continued. He said he left the restaurant around 12:30 p.m. to deliver a catering order when staff complained of a strong odor and “almost like sewage seeping into the restaurant from the apartment”. Before the police arrived, Hubbuch called the landlord, and the super came over and went to the unit. He came out of the apartment obviously stunned by what he had seen. Police showed up a few minutes later.
Jessuan Sierra, the building’s supervisor said, “The two girls were nice kids. The family has lived there for three years. The mailman that also volunteers with a ministry that often helped the family said that Shalom “has a bright spirit”.
The owner of Memphis Seoul, the restaurant below the apartment said that everyone knew something wasn’t right and that he “ saw Cato yell at the kids often”. He told the post that the children were quiet and well-mannered. “Their mother frequently cussed them out and wouldn’t let them play with the other kids on the block,” he said.
Jason Rahimzadeh, another neighbor, said, “I heard a lot of screaming and fighting from the apartment. I heard loud arguments at least 10 times, where they were screaming at the top of their lungs. The family kept to themselves. Everyone in the building is so nice and calm, but we all knew that apartment was trouble,” Rahimzadeh added.
Shalom Guifarro’s mother has been charged with murder, manslaughter, assault, endangering the welfare of a child, and criminal possession of a weapon, reports the NY Post. Cato is an employee for the city’s Human Resources Administration and has retained an attorney through her union.
Shalom Guifarro’s funeral service information will be released by the family. Family and friends are encouraged to shares their memories and photographs: https://death-obituary.com/shalom-guifarro-death-9-year-old-nyc-girl-found-dead-with-head-trauma-bite-marks/
CBS reports; Mother charged with murder in 9-year-old daughter’s death
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