Police: Records falsified after teen killed in Columbia County

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The 14-year-old killed when a car hit him in Columbia County last month was a resident at a behavioral health facility. Now two employees of that facility are facing charges.

Police tell us the 14-year-old’s name was Romelo Cruze. He was a resident at the Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health in Red Hook.

Cruze was reported missing the same time state police were investigating the deadly crash.

Investigators say the staff members responsible for Cruze’s care were 39-year-old Churchil Orodi and 36-year-old Beryl Orech, both of Poughkeepsie. Police say the staff members gave them written documents that Cruze was in good condition at 5:30 a.m.

However, police say the crash happened 40 minutes before that, at 4:50 a.m. on Route 9 in Clermont, near the County Route 8 intersection. That’s less than five miles from the facility.

Police arrested the two staff members Tuesday night for falsifying business records in the first degree, endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person in the first degree, and making a punishable false written statement.

The two were issued appearance tickets and are expected to be back in court on Oct.  26.

NewsChannel 13 reached out to the facility. They were not available for comment.