What began as an oh-so-familiar scandalous affair between a high school teacher and her student turned deadly in late 2016, when Felicia Barahona, 36, and her 4-year-old son, Miguel, were found dead at her West 153rd Street apartment in Upper Manhattan the day after Christmas. Barahona was found with an electrical cord tied around her neck, while Miguel was found dead underwater in the bathtub.
The perp? Isaac Duran Infante, 23, Barahona’s “baby daddy,” a resident of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
Some may recognize Barahona, an Afghanistan War vet, from a 2013 news story in which she, a science teacher at Dewitt Clinton High School, was revealed to have an affair with the then unnamed Infante, who was her 17-year-old student at the time.
Even after she was fired from her teaching position, the two maintained a relationship by moving in together. Eventually, she became pregnant and the two bought wedding bands. It was a promising romantic, albeit inappropriate, relationship.
But, as quickly as the affair had begun, it had dissipated. The two began to fight. They fought about how to raise little Miguel, they fought about Infante’s underage drinking issues, they just fought. And after just five days, the two decided to part ways.
Over the following four years, Barahona raised Miguel and attended graduate school. Infante paid 80-100 in child support a week and visited sparingly, but was generally kept at arm’s length.
So what drove this relationship to murder? Like so many contentious relationships, it could be myriad factors. It could be the child support Infante had to pay weekly. It could be that Barahona angered Infante by dressing Miguel in pink. It could even be that Barahona didn’t want Infante around to be a real father figure to Miguel. It could have been all of those reasons.
Considering that Infante reportedly has no criminal record or history of mental illness, it’s difficult to pinpoint the motivation behind this horrendous crime. Regardless of the motivation, the lives of Barahona and 4-year-old Miguel were stolen on Christmas Day.
When first approached by police, Infante did what most murder suspects do, he put on the act of a grieving father. He stated that he hadn’t visited Barahona’s New York apartment since 2011. But, according to surveillance footage, Infante had been captured going in and out of the six-story building over the course of a few days.
Infante was supposed to spend that Christmas Day with Barahona, Miguel, and Barahona’s mother on West 56th Street. But they never arrived. Angered at Barahona for differences over raising their son, Infante garroted his former science teacher with an electric cord. When Miguel had walked in on the murder, Infante silenced him by drowning his four-year-old son in the bathtub.
Infante was arrested in his Bethlehem apartment and later confessed, stating that his actions were “evil.” He has been charged for both murders.