THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS
MIDDLESEX DISTRICT ATTORNEY
15 COMMONWEALTH AVE. WOBURN, MA 01801
For immediate release: March 27, 2015
For more information: Jacquelyn Goddard (781) 897-8325
Unlicensed Child Care Provider Arraigned On Charges In Child Homicide Case
WOBURN – Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan has announced that Pallavi Macharla, 40, of Burlington, was arraigned today on a charge of murder and operating an unlicensed child care program in Middlesex Superior Court in Woburn. Judge Douglas Wilkens held the defendant without bail pending a further bail hearing next week. The next date has not yet been scheduled.
“This incident is yet another tragic example of a situation in which a care giver has allegedly inflicted injuries on a baby,” said District Attorney Ryan. “Much has been done in this state regarding education on the issue of shaken baby syndrome but clearly this is a stark reminder that prevention programs must continue. It is striking how we still see such disregard for human life in certain cases in which adults leave children alone, fail to get medical help for infants in medical distress, and physically abuse someone so young.”
"This is a terribly tragic situation involving the loss of a young, innocent life," Burlington Police Chief Michael Kent said. "I commend all of the investigators involved in this case for their diligence, and I want to acknowledge the efforts of District Attorney Ryan's Office in bringing this case forward."
One year ago, on Thursday, March 27, 2014, a six-month-old baby girl was left in the care of a neighbor, Pallavi Macharla, who regularly provided child care for the baby.
It is alleged that at approximately 2:40 p.m, Macharla called the baby’s mother to say the baby was not breathing. The mother drove to Macharla’s home and saw Macharla performing mouth-mouth respirations on her daughter who was limp and nonresponsive. The mother immediately called 911. The defendant reported that the baby became unresponsive after vomiting following a feeding. First responders arriving at the residence on Baron Park Lane in Burlington found the baby unresponsive, pulseless, and apneic. The child was transported by ambulance to Lahey Hospital and then to Boston Children’s Hospital where she was pronounced dead on March 30, 2014.
Diagnostic tests and studies were performed, which revealed that the baby was suffering from diffuse subdural hemorrhaging, diffuse subarachnoid hemorrhaging, diffuse and multilayered bilateral retinal hemorrhages and retinoschisis. Additionally, she was found to have multiple vertebral compression fractures to the base of the thoracic spine and upper lumbar spine, which were dated to have been inflicted on March 27, 2014, and were consistent with forceful axial loading or extreme hyperflexion such as seen in shaking. The medical team opined that the injuries were consistent with Abusive Head Trauma. At autopsy, bilateral subscalpular hemorrhages and multiple subperiosteal hemorrhages were revealed. The cause of death was ruled “blunt force and shaking injuries of head.”
Authorities say the defendant did not have a daycare license and was cited by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care for providing unlicensed child care in her home.
The family of the victim in this case asks that you respect their privacy at this time as they mourn their child on the one year anniversary of their daughter’s death.
These charges are allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
This case is being investigated by the Burlington Police Department and State Police assigned to the office of Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan.
The prosecutors assigned to this case are Assistant District Attorneys Katharine Folger and Anne Paruti. The Victim Witness Advocates are Susie Marshall and Rani Scott.
The issue of Abusive Head Trauma/Shaken Baby Syndrome has been mentioned in other recent court cases and is a form of child abuse recognized by many professional medical organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, American Academy of Family Physicians, and American College of Surgeons. These organizations have published position statements describing their disciplines’ role in its diagnosis and prevention. Additionally, the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have recognized the diagnosis.
Parents and guardians of young children should be aware that the MA Department of Early Education and Care is responsible for licensing certain child care programs such as center-based and in-home day care programs. In order to obtain a license, programs must be healthy and safe, maintain appropriate ratios of teachers and children, undergo criminal background checks, and receive specialized training in child development and curriculum implementation. Guardians can visit the EEC website, www.mass.gov/eec, to determine whether a program or provider is in fact licensed and call EEC to request a compliance history.”###
The Burlington Police Department would like to warn citizens to be aware of two phone scams that have res
urfaced in the area. The perpetrators use the internet and social media websites to research for potential targets.
The first is known as the "Grandparent Scam," in which fraudsters are impersonating as a grandchild in distress and begging for cash. Typically a grandparent receives a phone call or an e-mail from a "grandchild." If it is a phone call, it's usually late at night or early in the morning when most people are not thinking clearly. Usually the person claims to be in a foreign country and has been arrested, involved in an accident or mugged and needs money as soon as possible. The caller does not want his parents notified. Sometimes, instead of the "grandchild" making the phone call, the criminal pretends to be an arresting officer, a lawyer, or a doctor from a hospital. The anxious grandparent is then instructed to send money via Western Union or Money Gram. Once the transfer is made, the grandparent often receives another call requesting more money. Wiring money is like sending cash. Once the money is gone, you can't trace it or get it back. Financial losses in these cases can be substantial and usually cost the victim several thousands of dollars.
If you receive a call where someone is contacting you for money, you could resist the pressure to act quickly and try to contact the grandchild or another family member to determine whether or not the call is legitimate. Never write money based on a request over the phone or in an e-mail.
The second is known as the "IRS Scam," in which a person, including recent immigrants, receives a call from a person claiming to be from the IRS. The caller tells the victim they owe taxes and must paying using a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer. The scammers threaten those who refuse to pay with arrest, deportation or loss of a business or driver's license. The caller may know the last four digits of the victim's social security number and make caller ID appear as if the IRS is calling. Often, a second call is made claiming to be the police, and caller ID again supports their claim. If the caller claims to be a Burlington Police Officer, ask for their last name and call 781-272-1212 to verify the authenticity of the call.
The IRS usually contacts people by mail-not by phone-about unpaid taxes and the IRS won't ask for payment using a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer. The agency won't ask for a credit card number over the phone. If you get a call from someone claiming to be with the IRS, hand up and the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. IRS workers can help you with payment questions. The IRS will never request personal or financial information by e-mail, texting or any social media.
The Burlington Police recommend that you never give a caller personal information, including your bank account, credit card, social security or driver's license number. Western Union transfer forms specifically warn senders not to send money for an unconfirmed emergency related to a grandchild or other family member. Money Gram also has a fraud warning on transfer forms and says it can put holds on transfers that raise red flags. Additionally, limit your personal information, such as vacation plans, on shared and social media sites.
If you believe you may be a potential victim or have been victimized, call the Burlington Police at 781-272-1212. To report an online crime visit: www.IC3.gov.
PD Version: Phone Scams
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2014
Contact: John Guilfoil
Burlington Police Department Announces Success of Holiday Handicap Parking Enforcement Program
Proactive Campaign Meant to Prevent Misuse of Disabled Parking Spaces During Holiday Shopping Rush
BURLINGTON — Police Chief Michael R. Kent is pleased to announce that the Burlington Police Department is in the final stages of an enforcement program meant to ensure that the disabled are able to properly access designated parking spaces during the holiday shopping and travel times.
Chief Kent assigned two officers per day for 10 days immediately before and after Christmas to enforce Disabled Parking laws throughout Burlington, including at the town’s busiest shopping centers and the Burlington Mall.
Operation Access saw the Burlington Police Department issue 154 Disabled Parking Violation Tickets and 15 tickets for the misuse of a Disabled Parking Placard by a person not named on the placard.
“Disabled Parking spaces exist to provide those with limited mobility a fair and equitable opportunity to shop, dine, and enjoy all that Burlington has to offer. It is not meant to provide a close parking spot to someone who doesn’t feel like walking a few extra yards,” Chief Kent said. “I am very pleased with these results and proud of men and women the Burlington Police Department for adopting this program over the holiday season.”
The Operation Access program was headed by Sergeant Gerard McDonough in the police department, in cooperation with the Burlington Disability Access Commission.
“It is disappointing that this pilot program was such a success, because it means a lot of people are violating the law,” said Bob Hogan, Chair of the Burlington Board of Selectmen. “Abuse of Disabled Parking Spaces is wrong, and it goes against the very spirit of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which was passed to ensure that the disabled have the same access to programs, services, stores, and restaurants as everyone else.”
The 169 total tickets issued represents a nearly 60 percent increase in December full-month Disabled Parking Space Violation tickets in just 10 days. Over the last two years, the Burlington Police Department issued an average of 100 such tickets each December.
Download electronic version: Handicap Parking Enforcement
Burlington Police Seek Help in Identifying Medallion from 1975 Cold Case:
Burlington Police recently sought assistance from The Poughkeepsie Journal, in Poughkeepsie, NY in order to identify a Medallion found in 1975 Homicide Case. This case has yet to be solved and are seeking any assistance in identifying the medallion.
If you have any information please contact Lt. Glen Mills via phone: 781-272-1212 address: Burlington Police Department Attn: Lt. Glen Mills 45 Center St. Burlington, MA 01803 or Fax: 781-270-1920.
You can view the article online: The Poughkeepsie Journal
You can view the Press Release: Unsolved 1975 Homicide