Couple Charged In Death Of 13-Day-Old Baby Boy

October 25, 2017
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A couple in Utah has been charged with murder in the death of a newborn boy who lived for just 13 days.

KSL reported that Maria Elena Sullivan, 26, and Dylan James Kitzmiller, 21, were both charged last Friday in 3rd District Court with murder, a first-degree felony, and three counts of child abuse inflicting serious bodily injury, a second-degree felony.

Prosecutors have issued $1 million arrest warrants for both Sullivan and Kitzmiller.

The boy was born on September 4th with no known medical problem, court documents state.

Sullivan was reportedly living with Kitzmiller at the time in the basement of one of Kitzmiller’s relatives.

On September 17, emergency officials were called to the house because the infant was in full arrest, the charges state.

The child was reportedly making “grunting” and “gasping” noises before he stopped breathing, the couple told police. The newborn was pronounced dead at the scene.

Both police and medical crews saw evidence of “bruising around the infant’s eyes,” his shoulder and his arm, as well as an injury to his ear, charges state.

When interviewed by detectives, Sullivan said that she had called a friend that night to say “she needed a way to get away from Kitzmiller’s abuse” of her and her child.

 

Sullivan later told police that Kitzmiller was “using heroin every day” and he was “rough” when he picked up the baby, the court records state.

When Kitzmiller became angry, he would grab the infant “by the shoulder, causing his head to flip, and throw the newborn baby up in the air,”according to court documents. He reportedly also slapped and bit the young child, charges state.

But prosecutors also noted that Sullivan “continued to leave (the boy) in Kitzmiller’s care” and “never sought medical care” for him despite being aware of the bruises and marks on the child.

Kitzmiller said to police that both he and Sullivan used heroin on the day of the boy’s death, charges state.

An autopsy later revealed the infant lost weight during his short life, going from 5 pounds at birth to 4 pounds at the time of his death, according to court documents, “a loss of about 14 percent of his body mass.”

An autopsy also showed a fractured arm that appeared to be a “fresh” injury, a broken rib and an injured spinal cord, charges state.

Furthermore, the baby’s “brain was severely injured” and swollen, according to charging documents.

The preliminary cause of death was determined to be severe brain injuries, according to court records.

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