Handcuffs

Tribune illustration of handcuffs (Tribune photo illustration)

The parents of a 6-month-old Little Village neighborhood boy whose Tuesday death is being looked into by state child welfare authorities have been accused of endangering their other three children, who have since been placed in the custody of relatives, authorities said.

Esmeralda Romero, 23 and Melito Perez, 27, of the 2500 block of South Spaulding Avenue, were charged with three counts each of misdemeanor endangering the health of a child, police said.

After the death of the baby, identified by the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office as Carlos Perez, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services began investigating the parents for allegedly neglecting him and their three other children, according to spokesman Kendall Marlowe.

The kids, who police described as a 4-year-old girl, 5-year-old boy and a 1-year-old boy, were placed in the care of relatives, Marlowe said.

After Carlos died, officers found the couple’s home in an unsanitary condition -- with a roach infestation, flying insects, feces smeared on the floor, rotting food in the refrigerator, and a lack of food and bedding, police said.

Officers also saw bug bites on the arms and legs of at least one of the three children and they were examined at Mount Sinai Hospital, police said.

A Wednesday autopsy for Carlos was inconclusive and pending further studies, according to the medical examiner’s office. The child was found unresponsive at his home on Spaulding and was pronounced dead at 2:40 p.m. Tuesday at Mount Sinai Hospital, according to the medical examiner’s office.

 “We’ve had no previous investigations of the family,’’ Marlowe said. 

rsobol@tribune.com

Twitter: @RosemarySobol1