Police charged a Utah couple with murder in the death of their 13-day-old infant boy and issued warrants for their arrests.
Maria Elena Sullivan, 26, and Dylan James Kitzmiller, 21, were charged with first-degree murder and three counts of child abuse as second-degree felonies, according to court filings, Fox reported.
NEW: WJ police are looking for these 2. Cops: Dylan Kitzmiller beat a 13 day old to death, the mother, Maria Sullivan, doesn't report. pic.twitter.com/zwii4cNOmh
— Chris Jones (@jonesnews) October 21, 2017
The couple will be held on $1 million bail once arrested, West Jordan police said.
The baby was born on Sept. 4. On Sept. 17, Sullivan called an ambulance to her relatives home in West Jordan because she saw the infant grasping for air. The paramedics could not restore the infant’s breathing and he was pronounced dead.
Police allege that Kitzmiller regularly abused the child and that Sullivan failed to report it and did not seek treatment for the injuries.
The couple was staying in the West Jordan home with a relative.
On the day the infant died, the mother was on the phone talking about how she wanted to “get away from Kitzmiller’s abuse.” During the call, Kitzmiller was taking care of the child by himself.
After the call, the mother went downstairs and saw her baby wearing only a diaper and Kitzmiller moving the infant’s legs “in a rough weird bicycle thing.” Kitzmiller told the mother the baby would be fine and that she should put it to sleep.
That night Sullivan heard the baby gasping for air. She said she pinched the boy on the cheek to get him to respond. After a few more gasps the baby stopped breathing.
The couple called 911 from upstairs, but paramedics could not save the infant.
During questioning, investigators found out from Sullivan that Kitzmiller was using heroin. The man was also rough with the baby, but she continued to leave the child in his care. Sullivan also told police that Kitzmiller was verbally abusive toward her.
Sullivan said that Kitzmiller abused the boy on several occasions, grabbing his shoulder, throwing the child in the air, swaddling him face down and on one occasion covering the infant’s mouth as he cried. Sullivan also said that Kitzmiller threw the boy from hand to hand, slapped him in his face, and bit his hands.
When police questioned Kitzmiller, he said that Sullivan and her relatives had yelled at him for treating the baby roughly. He also said that Sullivan used heroin in front of the child, but that she was not responsible for any of the injuries.
A medical examiner determined that the baby boy had lost one pound of his birth weight in 13 days, had a spinal fracture, a broken rib, massive swelling of the brain, and scratches and bruises.
“Wow, that’s frightening, really frightening,” Kristen Peterson, a neighbor, said. “You never really know what’s going on two or three houses down from you.”