NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday said a “full investigation” will be launched following the death of a toddler at the home of his caregiver in the Bronx.
Cardell Williamson, 20 months, was pronounced dead on Friday. Caregiver Athena Skeeter, 40, was arraigned Sunday on charges of manslaughter and endangering the welfare of a child.
“This is a real tragedy, and as a parent, it’s very painful for me to think about the loss of this child and what the family is going through right now, and we’re going to do a very full investigation, and we’re going to look for anything we can learn with,” de Blasio said Monday.
De Blasio said his understanding was that Skeeter’s child care center had both state and city oversight, “so we want to get to the bottom of what happened.”
According to court documents, Skeeter told police she had been wrestling Friday with Cardell at her home after his father, Carlyle Williamson, dropped him off.
Police responding to a 911 call found Cardell lying on a bed, struggling to breathe. Officers administered CPR and rushed the boy to Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center, where he died.
The New York City Medical Examiner’s office said the cause of death was homicide by blunt force trauma to the boy’s head and torso, 1010 WINS’ Roger Stern reported. A source told 1010 WINS the child was also severely scalded.
“She claimed she put him in a tub with hot water. When I saw the pictures, my baby’s burnt all the way from one side to another,” Carlyle Williamson told Kozar.
Williamson said his son would sometimes come home with bruises, but there was always some kind of explanation for the injuries. Now he wonders if he missed a pattern of abuse, Kozar reported.
“She always gave me some bogus story how he fell,” Williamson said. “One time, his shoes were too tight, so he fell down two or three flights of steps.”
Skeeter is due back in court Thursday.
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