A Union County jury has returned guilty verdicts against the Elizabeth mother and father who severely beat their 2-year-old daughter a little more than three years ago, then failed to provide her medical attention before she died due to her injuries, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced Thursday.
Jorge Orozco, 33, was convicted on charges of first-degree aggravated manslaughter and second-degree endangering the welfare of a child, while Raquel Ramirez, 33, was convicted of second-degree reckless manslaughter and second-degree endangering. The verdicts were returned after one day of jury deliberation and a nearly month-long trial before state Superior Court Judge John Deitch.
Shortly before 8 p.m. on February 2, 2014, first responders rushed to an apartment on the 200 block of Westfield Avenue in Elizabeth to find 2-year-old Dayanna Orozco unresponsive, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Albert Cernadas Jr., who prosecuted the case. The toddler was pronounced dead at the scene.
An intensive joint investigation by the Elizabeth Police Department and the Union County Homicide Task Force followed, revealing that the victim had suffered broken bones and severe internal injuries as a result of repeated physical assaults by Jorge Orozco and Ramirez over the weekend, Cernadas said. By the time a relative called 911, he noted, she had been dead for several hours.
Ramirez was arrested during the days following Dayanna Orozco’s death and initially was charged with aggravated assault before the offense was upgraded, and Jorge Orozco was arrested and charged in late May 2014. Both were indicted two months later.
Sentencing in the case has been set for Friday, April 28 before Judge Deitch.