ELIZABETH, NJ – Elizabeth residents Jorge Orozco, 33, and  Raquel Ramirez, 33, were sentenced to a combined total of 53 years in state prison for beating their two-year daughter to death a little more than three years ago, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced today, May 12.

Orozco was sentenced to 37 years after being convicted of charges of first-degree aggravated manslaughter and second-degree endangering the welfare of a child, while Ramirez was sentenced to 16 years after being convicted of second-degree reckless manslaughter and second-degree endangering.

Orozco must serve more than 28 years of his sentence, and Ramirez must serve more than 12 years of hers, before either becomes eligible for parole under terms set down Friday by state Superior Court Judge John Deitch.

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First responders rushed to an apartment on the 200 block of Westfield Avenue shortly before 8 p.m. on Sunday, February 2, 2014, to find two-year-old Dayanna Orozco unresponsive, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Albert Cernadas Jr., who prosecuted the case. The toddler was pronounced dead at the scene, Cernadas said.

The investigation that followed revealed that the victim had suffered broken bones and severe internal injuries as a result of repeated physical assaults by Orozco and Ramirez over the weekend, Cernadas said. By the time a relative called 911, he noted, she had been dead for several hours.  

Ramirez was arrested during the days following Dayanna Orozco’s death and initially was charged with aggravated assault before the offense was upgraded, and Orozco was arrested and charged in late May 2014. Both were indicted two months later, and, following a month-long trial that took place in March 2017, they were convicted following one day of jury deliberation.