A 15-year-old mother who stopped going to Mommy and Me groups to keep her infant son’s injuries a secret watched online videos dedicated to children who had died, according to a police report.
Her 4-month-old son was taken to Wheaton Franciscan-All Saints hospital, 3801 Spring St., on Sunday, where he was found to have a broken arm and leg, police said. He was transferred to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in Wauwatosa, where doctors reportedly found additional injuries, including bruises to the back, genitals, arms and legs; scars near the ears, lower lip, left cheek and genitals; and fractures to both his arms and his left leg.
The baby has been released from the hospital to a Milwaukee social services agency. The girl is in custody in Racine. She was reportedly on probation for two counts of assault and truancy when the abuse occurred.
When an investigator went to her foster home this week, she reportedly told him that her son hit his head when she failed to catch him after tossing him about 7 feet up into the air. Doctors said that explanation did not match his injuries, the report said.
The girl is not being named because her case is in juvenile court.
One of the girl’s foster parents told an investigator that the teenager is temperamental and sometimes stays in her room with the baby all day. She said the girl had asked whether there was a way to tell if someone is bleeding internally and that she had been on YouTube viewing videos dedicated to children who had died or been severely injured, some through abuse.
The report said the investigator looked at the computer the girl had been using and saw that she visited 18 videos that dealt with children, the majority of which were for children who had died. Two were in reference to child abuse.
When police were able to interview her, the investigator noted that she was half-smiling and seemed detached. She reportedly covered her eyes, pulled her lower eyelids down and pulled a finger across, causing herself to cry
She said she had told the truth about how the injuries happened — referring to the explanation that she had tossed the baby into the air — but that she had caused bruises by scratching him when she was irritated with his crying.
The report indicates the girl then admitted to causing all of the baby’s injuries and said she had handled him roughly, grabbed him and yanked him by the arm, thrown him on her bed and twisted his legs. She said she hurt him when she got mad at him.
She reportedly told the investigator that she started looking at the videos because she realized what she was doing was abuse.
“(She) stated that she looked up the RIP sites because she recognized that what she was doing could cause (the baby) to ‘end up like that’ and admitted that she realized that her actions could result in (the baby’s) death.”
She has been charged with physical abuse of a child. There is a hearing scheduled for Dec. 9 during which she could be waived into adult court. Police said the girl is from Milwaukee, but was in foster care here with her son. She is in eighth grade and is home schooled, according to a police report.