(Carroll County, GA) In December 2015 Carroll County Emergency Personnel responded to Spring Lane in Carrollton reference an 8-month-old female in cardiac arrest, sadly the baby was pronounced deceased upon arrival at Tanner Medical Center.
Investigators along with the Coroner had suspicions relating to the baby, identified as Natalia Esmerelda Jane Ro Laras passing but it was not until 2017 that the GBI Crime Lab ruled the death a homicide and toxicology reports were released. The toxicology report stated Natalia passed away from being given a lethal dose of Diphenhydramine which is a sleeping agent found in Benadryl. Investigators ultimately got a confession from Darius Lara, Natalias father, shortly thereafter as he admitted to giving Natalia sleeping aids meant for his girlfriend and on the night of her death he opened a capsule of liquid Benadryl and poured it into her mouth to end her crying, subsequently causing her passing. Darius Lara was arrested in 2017 and has been in the Carroll County Jail since then awaiting finality to this case, which ended in a plea last week.
Sheriff Terry Langley stated, I know this case has been a work in progress for some years, it has been a tedious job, and it has required a lot of hours from our dedicated Investigators partnering with the Carroll County District Attorneys Office to ensure that sweet Baby Natalia would not be forgotten. I am proud of Sergeant Stephen Stollar and Assistant District Attorney Jephson Bendinger for following their instincts to be able to obtain a solid conviction and provide closure to all those who were affected by her passing. The prison sentence received will never bring Baby Natalia back, but it will serve as justice to a very sad and tragic case of a little girl who will never get to grow up.
written by: Carroll County Sheriffs Office PIO