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Horror in Queens: Twin infants dead in apartment, mom in custody

Medical Examiers remove the bodies of two infants from 31-76 51 St. in the Woodside Houses on April 22, 2021.
Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

Twin infants were found dead inside a Queens apartment on Thursday afternoon, and detectives are now questioning their 23-year-old mother.

Police made the horrific discovery while responding with FDNY units to a wellness check called in at about 3:10 p.m. on April 22 at the Woodside Houses, located at 31-76 51st St. in Woodside, Queens.

According to Chief of Housing David Barrere, the officers from NYPD Public Service Area 9 met with concerned family members and knocked on the door to the mother’s fifth-floor apartment. Once they got inside, he said, they encountered a nightmarish scene.

Barrere said one of the infants was found lifeless inside a crib with trauma to their body. The officers then asked about a second baby inside the home, and the mother pointed them toward a sink.

“Officers discovered a second child under the sink area, wrapped in a blanket, who was also unconscious and unresponsive,” Barrere said.

They were identified as Dakota Bentley and Dallis Bentley — both just 46 days old.

Responding EMS units pronounced both the Bentley babies dead at the scene. The Medical Examiner’s office will conduct autopsies to determine the cause of their deaths.

Police immediately took their mother into custody for further questioning; the NYPD identified her, at this time, as a person of interest. Barrere said that officers also recovered a knife at the scene.

According to Barrere, one of the mother’s relatives called 911 on Thursday out of concern for her children. He did not go into details as to what prompted such concern.

Based on a preliminary investigation, police determined that the mother does not have a prior criminal record. The status of the infants’ father remains unknown at this time.

As the sun set Thursday, crime scene investigators and other NYPD remained at the scene seeking further evidence. Charges against the mother are pending the results of the ongoing investigation.

It’s the latest tragedy to befall the Woodside Houses public housing complex. In March, two people were shot dead in separate shootings, including Gudelia Valinas, who was fatally struck down by a stray bullet fired during a battle between warring groups.

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