Parents Get Prison for Letting Children Die in Hot Bathwater

A couple who were in a drug-induced stupor while their two young children died in a bathroom flooded with scalding water were sent to prison Tuesday.

David Maldonado, 32, who left the hot water running, was sentenced to five to 15 years. Luz Arroyo, 26, drew 16 months to four years behind bars.

"This was a particularly horrific crime that resulted in the deaths of two innocent children," District Attorney Janet DiFiore said in a statement.

Elijaha Santana, a month short of his third birthday, and David Maldonado Jr., who was nearly 2, died on July 29. They suffered hyperthermia and third-degree burns at their home in Yonkers.

The pattern of burns showed Elijaha tried to stand on his tiptoes to avoid the hot water as it spilled out of the bathtub, prosecutors said.

Investigators said the bathroom door was damaged and difficult to open, and the youngsters fell unconscious as the room filled with steam.

The boys' deaths contributed to demands for better tracking of children in dangerous households. The caseworker assigned to the family was fired.

Maldonado pleaded guilty in January to manslaughter. Arroyo pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide.