ELIZABETH—A Garwood woman was sentenced to five years probation and ordered to undergo psychiatric treatment after she pled guilty to neglect in the death of her 25-year-old daughter.
Ermina Errico, 62, pled guilty to third degree neglect of a disabled person, her daughter, Emily, said Union County Prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow.
On Jan. 29, 2007 police responded to a 911 call made from the Errico’s house. Upon their arrival, the officers were unable to use the front door of the home because it was blocked by bags of trash. Inside, they found the body of 25-year-old Emily Errico in a bedroom off the kitchen, said Romankow.
Last year Emily Errico’s father, Edward, also pled guilty to third degree neglect in the case and was sentenced to probation and ordered to undergo a psychological evaluation.
Ermina Errico was sentenced this morning before Union County Superior Court Judge Stuart Peim.
“Hopefully, psychiatric care will help both defendants address their deep seeded mental issues,” said Romankow.
The medical examiner’s autopsy revealed that Emily Errico died from a combination of anorexia, nervosa and malnutrition, according to the indictment.
She was 5’7 and weighed just 97 pounds.
Emily Errico was in full rigor mortis and was wearing just a plastic trash bag fashioned into a halter-top and a pair of sweatpants when officers found her, according to the indictment.
A Union County Grand Jury indicted Ermina Errico on the charge in August 2009.
Detective Jorge Jiminez of the Union County Homicide Task Force spent several months conducting an investigation into the death of Emily Errico and found, among other things, that the victim was kept in a crib for most of her toddler years and later in life was fed a controlled amount of food by her mother.
“She was never permitted to interact socially with other children,” said Romankow. “While she proved to be an exceptionally bright student and graduated from Kean University, but moved home upon graduation and back under the control of her parents.”
Once Emily Errico was back in the house, her mother continued to exercise extraordinary control over her, according to the investigation.
“She was not free to leave her room, let alone the house because her mother sat would sit like a guard outside of her room on a constant basis,” said Romankow.
Ermina Errico also forced her daughter wear trash bags as clothing, according to the indictment.
All of these actions combined, prosecutors allege that Emily Errico’s health was severely compromised due to her parent’s actions.
In 2004, she visited a nutritionist with her father to see a nutritionist, who diagnosed malnutrition recommended follow-up visits.
Those appointments were later cancelled by the victim’s father. It was the last time before her death that Emily Errico left the house.
In the months leading up to her death, police obtained statements that indicate that Emily Ericco could be heard “thumping down” onto the floor as if she had little or no muscle control, according to the indictment.
Union County Assistant Prosecutor James Donnelly handled the case.
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