Police are searching for Julio Acevedo as the suspected driver of a BMW that smashed into a livery cab early Sunday morning in Brooklyn, killing a young Orthodox Jewish couple and fatally injuring their baby, delivered by Caesarean section from the dead mother.
Investigators are seeking Acevedo, 44, who last month was charged with driving while intoxicated, NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said. Police released a mug shot of Acevedo but provided no further information on the suspect.
Isaac Abraham, a spokesman for the Orthodox Jewish community, called for the maximum punishment for the driver.
"We in the community are demanding that the prosecutor charge the driver of BMW that caused the death of this couple and infant ... with triple homicide," Abraham said in a statement. "This coward left the scene of the accident, not even bothering to check on the people in the other car."
The newborn died about 5:30 a.m. Monday and was buried later in the day in Kiryas Joel, one day after his parents -- members of the Satmar Orthodox Jewish denomination -- were laid to rest there, Abraham said.
Earlier Monday, police arrested a Bronx woman who leased the 2010 BMW that slammed into the livery cab in which the expectant couple were passengers and charged her with insurance fraud, an NYPD spokesman said.
"It was a mess," a police spokesman said of the accident scene. "The girl got ejected. It [the BMW] was obviously [traveling] very fast."
A police statement said that two occupants fled the BMW on foot.
Takia Walker, 29, of the Bronx, was charged with third-degree insurance fraud, a felony, and fifth-degree insurance fraud, a misdemeanor.
The Brooklyn couple, Raizy and Nachman Glauber, both 21, were on their way to the hospital after the expectant mother began feeling discomfort. The baby's survival was initially hailed as a miracle and it was expected that he would be raised by the extended family of his father, who grew up in Rockland County, and mother, whose roots are in Brooklyn.
Unlike the funeral for his parents Sunday, the ceremony for the newborn was a relatively muted affair, in part because he did not survive 30 days, said Yossi Gestetner, a news commentator on the Orthodox community. Jewish law also requires that parents and siblings of the dead observe shiva for seven days. But because the baby had no brothers or sisters and his parents are dead, that custom will not be observed, he noted.
On Sunday afternoon, several hundred mourners gathered at a Monsey synagogue to bid farewell to the couple.
About 400 people gathered outside Congregation Zayoal Moshe Satmar, where the coffins of Nachman and Raizy Glauber were placed in the middle of a circle of ultra-Orthodox men along with a podium, microphone and a few chairs.
An elderly man with long, white hair spoke first, rocking back and forth gently as he prayed. Two speakers broke down, wailing and sobbing. One man called out the names of the deceased: "Raizel! Raizel!"
About 60 women mourned apart from the men as required by ultra-Orthodox tradition. Four older women were seated in front, wrapped in a blue blanket as they wept.
"It's a horrible tragedy," said Esther Herzel of Monsey, a friend of the family. "They are a very large, very close family."
On Saturday, Raizy Glauber "was not feeling well, so they decided to go" to the hospital, said Sara Glauber, Nachman Glauber's cousin. Abraham said the Glaubers called a car service because they didn't own a car. The driver of the car survived the crash with no serious injuries.
Raizy Glauber was thrown from the car, and her body landed under a parked tractor-trailer, said witnesses who came to the scene after the crash. Nachman Glauber was pinned in the car, and emergency workers cut off the roof to get him out, witnesses said.
The couple died of blunt-force trauma, the medical examiner said.
With The Associated Press