- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 14, 2003

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (AP) — A woman has been charged with child abuse after “nanny cams” showed her bashing a baby on the kitchen floor and forcefully shaking the 5-month-old girl, police said.

One clip shows Claudia Muro, 29, raising the baby above her head and “slamming her on the floor three or possibly four times,” according to a police report by Officer Susan J. Hayes released Friday. Miss Muro’s back is to the camera, and the lower view of the baby is blocked by the woman’s body.

In another clip, Miss Muro held the girl up and shook her. Her head snapped back and forth several times “like a rag doll,” police spokesman Tony Rode said. The woman then placed the baby in her lap and kissed her forehead.

The baby was unhurt, police said.

Miss Muro was arrested Thursday on four counts of felony child abuse, authorities said. She was being held yesterday at the North Broward Detention Facility on $150,000 bond.

Miss Muro’s public defender, Renee Dadowski, told the Miami Herald that immigration officials were trying to determine whether she was in the United States legally. She is originally from Peru. Miss Dadowski did not return a phone call yesterday to the Associated Press.

The parents installed the undercover cameras after their daughter started crying and squirming when she was turned over to the babysitter.

“I hope this woman never touches another child, is never allowed to work with children again,” the mother, Jennifer Schwartz, said Friday. “I handed my daughter to her and when I left she became a monster.”

There were no apparent injuries to the child until the parents noticed what looked like a bite mark on her cheek and took her to the hospital last Wednesday. The parents went home to review the tapes and were shocked at what they saw.

The first-time parents — a former prosecutor and a social worker — said they thought they had done everything right when they hired Miss Muro to take care of their child after reviewing nine applicants. They hired her through an agency, hired a private investigator, checked her references and ran background checks.

“A stranger with glowing recommendations is still a stranger. No one really knows who they are,” said the father, Brett Schwartz.

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