Earlier this month, Kenosha man Hunter Jones was charged with first-degree reckless homicide linked to the death of the toddler, Matthew Bolinski, who was staying at his home.
The boy was beaten up so severely that the color of his eyes changed, and his face and body were left covered in cuts and bruises, reported the Daily Mail.
At the time of the incident on March 27, Jones reportedly told emergency services the toddler had “mental issues” and hit his head when after jumping out of his playpen while having a tantrum.
“I have a toddler that I was babysitting, and he was in a playpen,” he told 911 call handlers.
“This child has some sort of mental issue. He throws tantrums. He threw a tantrum. He jumped out of the playpen and hit his head and stuff like that. He has a history of this; we have messages, you know, like talking to her about it.”
The 23-year-old reportedly took four minutes to tell emergency services on the phone that the boy was unresponsive.
“Yeah, well the thing is, he is not responsive right now,” he said.
The young boy’s mother, Katherine Bolinski, said in an interview with WITI, that her son’s death has made her feel as though she is living an “ongoing nightmare.”
“I still pretend like he’s sleeping in the other room,” she told the outlet.
“Now it’s just like an ongoing nightmare of waking up, and there are moments where I just wish he could be with me still.”
The single mother said on the day of her sons’ death, she had dropped Matthew off at Jones’ home, and that he “threw a fit like no other fit,” when she left him to go to work.
According to the Mail, Jones and his wife had been babysitting at least 12 other children several days leading up to the 2-year-old’s death.
“I obviously regret having to do that now, because of the outcome, but that’s my last memory of him alive,” Bolinski told Fox 6.
The devastated mother told the outlet Matthew’s eyes had changed to a lighter color from his fatal injuries.
“His eyes went from a deep blue, to really, really light blue. Bruises all over his face. I lost it. I just couldn’t hold it back,” she recalled.
A coroner’s report found the boy had several neck and head injuries and listed a likely cause of death as asphyxia.
“My son was my life. My life didn’t start until I had my son, and now, I feel like I don’t even know what’s going on,” Bolisnki told Fox 6.
Jones is scheduled for an arraignment on Aug. 1.
Wisconsin Babysitter Gives Child Back to Mother Without Mentioning Baby Had Died
In a separate incident, a 29-year-old Wisconsin babysitter accused of killing a 2-month-old boy last fall pleaded not guilty in May after she was charged with first-degree intentional homicide.
Officials said the 2-month-old child died under the care of Marissa Tietsort. They allege that she tried to hide the boy’s death by returning him to his mother wrapped in a snowsuit and strapped into a car seat with a hat covering his eyes.
Tietsort pretended the child was alive during a trip of a McDonald’s in Wausau. She continued the ruse as she gave the boy back to his mother in October 2018, reported the Wausau Daily Herald, which cited court documents.
The mother, who wasn’t identified in reports, told officials that she thought her son was sleeping and took him to a laundromat, ABC News reported, citing a criminal complaint in Teitsort’s case.
Later, she realized he wasn’t breathing and was cold to the touch. The woman then began administering CPR as her sister called 911, the complaint stated.
Tietsort, 28, was charged Jan. 4 with first-degree intentional homicide in the boy’s death. Friends and family members attended the hearing, filling the benches of a Marathon County county wearing “Justice for Benton” shirts that included a photo of the baby, the Daily Herald reported.
Judge Jill Falstad ordered her to be held on a $500,000 bond and said she could not have any contact with children under the age of 18 or contact the victim’s family.
If convicted, she faces life in prison.
Jack Philipps contributed to this report.