JACKSONVILLE, FL -- A 17-year-old mother told police she "lost it" and beat her two year old son unconscious with a belt and a shoe. The boy died at a First Coast hospital.
Investigators say it wasn't the first time the mom abused the toddler.
Police say when the two-year-old boy came through the doors at Baptist Medical Center Downtown, he was already unconscious and unresponsive.
By law, doctors have to call police in cases where they suspect abuse. So officers from the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office went to the hospital. The boy was alive, but the child's case was so severe, homicide investigators were sent to the Intensive Care Unit.
An officer's report says the boy had an internal head injury, both fresh and old bruises, and cuts to his backside and body.
Doctors did their best, but the boy didn't survive.
"The mother was questioned the following day. And after being questioned, she was arrested and charged with aggravated child abuse," JSO spokesman Ken Jefferson said.
Police say the toddler's mother, 17-year-old Shantez Williams, admitted to beating her boy for five to ten minutes with a belt and a shoe, knocking him down to the ground and causing him to hit his head twice.
"During our interview, when we were talking to her, she even used the words that she 'lost it' while she was trying to discipline her child," Jefferson said.
The police report says Williams confessed to "a repeated pattern of abuse," during the boy's short life -- "beating the child," the report says, "sometimes severely."
"This is a child that you brought into this world, and for it to take this course, is just very tragic," Jefferson said.
Williams faces aggravated child abuse charges, but has not been charged directly with the boy's death. Jefferson said detectives are waiting on autopsy results to determine the exact cause of death, and then they will coordinate with prosecutors to decide what formal charges should be filed.
We don't know whether police have had any previous contact with Williams or her son, because she's a juvenile and her records aren't public. The Department of Children and Families told us that by law, they can't discuss whether a person has an open case with them.
If you find yourself having a hard time coping with your kids, experts say you've got to reach out for help.
You can call 211 on your phone to get non-emergency advice, and you can click the links below to find other good information about parenting and handling the headaches that can come with it.
Center for Effective Parenting
Circle of Parents