Prosecutor: Chelsea mother left sick son to die in care of his siblings while she went out drinking

CHELSEA, Mass. — A Chelsea mother left her sick 3-year-old son to die in the care of his young siblings while she went out drinking before spending the night at her boyfriend’s home, a prosecutor said.

Jennifer Prudencio, 25, was arraigned Wednesday in Chelsea District Court on charges of involuntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment of a child in the death of her son, Yael Guardado-Prudencio. A plea of not guilty was entered on her behalf.

Yael was found unresponsive inside his mother’s home at the Acadia apartment building on Spencer Avenue in Chelsea on Sunday morning, according to Suffolk District Attorney Kevin Hayden.

During Prudencio’s arraignment, a prosecutor told the court Yael had a history of hemophilia and seizure disorder and that he had been vomiting, sometimes blood, for a week leading up to his death. He had also fallen while having a seizure and had a bleeding wound to his face, which was not properly healing.

“The defendant had brought the child to seek medical care on two occasions (last) week,” said Prosecutor Audrey Mark. “On the evening of Saturday, April 6, the child vomited again. The child also appeared pale.”

Prudencio decided to leave him with her other children, ages 7 and 8, while she drank alcohol “for a number of hours” at a bar in Revere on Saturday, according to the prosecutor. She then allegedly chose not to return home to her sick son, instead spending the night with her boyfriend in Somerville.

“The defendant told the eight-year-old she would be home soon,,” Mark said.

At some point during her night out, Prudencio’s 8-year-old child texted her and expressed concern for Yael’s health, even sending a video of his poor condition, according to the prosecutor.

“She received texts from her 8-year-old son, communicating concerns for the alleged victim’s wellbeing,” the prosecutor told the court. “Despite that, she chose to stay out all night.”

The prosecutor said Prudencio later found Yael dead when she returned home the next day around 10 a.m.

In a subsequent interview with state police detectives, Prudencio allegedly “indicated that she was aware of the serious nature of the child’s medical condition” before leaving him for the night with no adult supervision.

“The death of someone so young is a tragedy beyond words. My heart goes out to all who knew and loved this young boy, and to the police and emergency services personnel who responded to the scene that sad morning,” DA Hayden said in a statement.

A neighbor who knows Prudencio told Boston 25 News that the single mother was raising her three young kids in a tough situation. He also said that Prudencio had just gotten out of a toxic relationship.

Another neighbor said she heard commotion Sunday morning outside her door.

“I heard people crying and I opened the door -- and the police said, because they saw my boy, close the door, please,” the woman who did not wish to be identified said. “It’s difficult when you have your own kids and you can’t believe that happened -- that Moms could do that.”

Prudencio, who was arrested Tuesday, was ordered held on $100,000 bail.

If Prudencio can post bail, she must surrender her passport, stay away from witnesses, remain in Massachusetts, be subject to 24-hour GPS lockdown, and spend no unsupervised time with children under the age of 16.

She is due back in court on May 2 for a probable cause hearing.

An investigation is ongoing.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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