Irvington mother, roommate charged in death of 8-year-old girl

Officials say an Irvington mother and her roommate were arrested after an 8-year-old girl was found dead yesterday in their home. In an afternoon news conference, the Essex County prosecutor said that the victim's mother, Venette Ovilde, 30, made the 911 call. Police arrived on the scene to find the 8-year-old not breathing. The mother is now facing charges of aggravated manslaughter after an autopsy showed her daughter died from a broken leg that went untreated and malnutrition.

Ovilde is also facing a charge of endangering the welfare of a child, as is her roommate Myriam Janvier, 23.

Police say two other children are currently in intensive care at the hospital, suffering from extreme malnutrition and fractures.

Alicia Stephens, who works in a store adjacent to the apartment where the children lived, said the children were frequent customers in the store below their apartment and seemed to be quite devout, including the practice of fasting.

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