Woman Poisons 21 Month-Old Stepson: Toddler Dies

“BATAVIA, NY – An Elmira woman is being held on charges of poisoning her 21-month old stepson.

Melissa Englehardt, 24, was arrested and charged with first degree manslaughter after an investigation by Elmira and Batavia police departments.

The toddler, Andrew, lived with his mother, Kristen Cianfrini, in Batavia. He died November 10 at his father’s home in Elmira. The Monroe County medical examiners office reported the cause of death as methanol poisoning. Methanol is found in anti-freeze, windshield washer fluid and dry gas.

The child’s family lives in Batavia. Survivors include his brother Michael and his grandparents John and Jean Cianfrini.

City of Batavia police are working in conjunction with Elmira police on the case.

Police say the father of the child, George Englehardt was not involved in his son’s death.”

Source: WIVB.com

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13 Responses to Woman Poisons 21 Month-Old Stepson: Toddler Dies

  1. Hilde says:

    Hi Every one..
    I read up about this Case and the Way I understand it
    the Poison whatever it was, was put in the Bottle mixed with Juice for the Toddler to drink.
    The only Thing which doesn’t make Sense to me is why they call it Manslaughter when it clearly points to Murder 1.
    It is unbelievable what is being done to those precious
    Babies! People like that don’t deserve to have Children or take care of any one’s Children 😦

    • aletheamarinanova says:

      Thank you Hilde, I meant to do that all day but I never got a chance. First degree murder makes sense to me.

  2. knight owl says:

    Might i add also this day and age for sure where there seems to be birth mother’s and Father’s killing their babies right and left that this sort of death would also raise red flags with me if the baby was in the care of both birth parents as well.

  3. knight owl says:

    sophie, the baby had to be in the care of his stepmom when he got poisoned or she would not have been the one arrested. Plus the article reads the baby was at the stepmom and Dad’s house not the birth mom’s house.

  4. knight owl says:

    Hi Alethea, It could have been an accidental poisioning like you said but being a stepmom it happened in her care so without knowing what kind of stepmom she was to this baby and being the stepmom always tends to raise red flags with me. I would think an autopsy will be done and maybe clues will show up as to how this child actually got this methanol in his system. We need medical expert Jan Garavaglia as she would pin it down to whether the baby drank something containing methanol or was intentionally given something containing methanol. It is said that antifreeze has a sweet taste and that is why animals will drink it, but i wonder if humans taste buds would be the same. I don’t know about windshield washer fluid or dry ice they mentioned. I would guess there are lots of different things that have methanol in it. Will be interesting to find out exactly what type of product containing methanol killed the baby. For instance if it was not one that would taste good for a baby to drink then that will raise lots of red flags and the charges could be changed to first degree murder instead. Bottom line is it is just horrible a baby died. I can’t imagine being this careless with a 21 month old little baby.

  5. sophie says:

    I think in a case like this, it’s important to get all the specifics….like autopsy revealing when the poison likely entered the child’s system, and whose care he was in at that time.

    There’s so many cases of people shaking their babies and then leaving them off at a sitters…and the sitter is always accused.

    This situation leaves me wondering if the mother didn’t want to punish the father and stepmother, and get her out of the way. It would not be difficult to do.

    Frankly, the entire thing makes me want to vomit.

    • aletheamarinanova says:

      You’re right Sophie. More facts are needed but the woman doing it out of vengefullness is certainly possible.

  6. knight owl says:

    Alethea, thanks for the informative post. Hope your having a good saturday.

    • aletheamarinanova says:

      Knight Owl, my Saturday was kind of crummy but trying to stay in my thankful place. Friday was a beautiful day so I am happy. I hope you have a beautiful Sunday!

  7. knight owl says:

    Hi Alethea and Susan, both of you are thinking exactly the same as i did with that crazy manslaughter charge. Is everyone going nuts in this world or is it just me? This is clearly a Murder 1 case. The step-mom wanted rid of this baby so she killed him and it would not take any brains other than common sense to figure that this was a cold blooded intentional permanent removal of this little baby. This poor baby. What a horrible brutal death he had to endure and this Monster step mom should be charged with the Death Penalty on the table should this State allow the Death Penalty. It was a Super heinous crime and deserves the maximum sentence. LWOP OR Death. This makes me sick.

    • aletheamarinanova says:

      Hi Knight Owl. The only thing I can think of is if it is an accidental poisoning. Children and pets get into Anti-freeze pretty commonly and many die. I know it is a brutal way to go, so this is an awful story.

  8. susan says:

    manslaughter??Unbelievable!for me this is 1 degree murder!

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