A 6-year-old that beat his 13-day-old sister to death faces no charges.
Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri says the 62-year-old mother left the children in the car while she got her cell phone repaired.
The mother neglected to take the injured infant to the hospital when she returned to the van.
The three children were left in the locked van with the windows up and the van was not running.
When the baby was 3-days-old, she was taken to the hospital with a brain bleed after being dropped out of a car seat.
Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri says a 6-year-old boy beat his 13-day-old baby sister to death in their mother’s van. The mother left the two children, along with the 3-year-old brother Phillip, in her locked van while she was inside a cell phone store.
The 62-year-old mother Kathleen Steele went inside the store to have her broken cell phone repaired. FOX 29 reports that the three children were left in the van. Reports say the van was turned off, locked, and the windows were up.
Gualtieri stated that the 13-day-old baby, also named Kathleen, would not stop crying. The 6-year-old brother, Frankie, “slammed the baby on the ground and flipped her around.”
The 6-year-old boy demonstrated for detectives what he had done to his infant sister.
“The best way I can describe it is, he pummeled her,” said Sheriff Gualtieri. The infant suffered a fractured skull, cuts, and bruising. Gualtieri went on to say that there was blood on the ceiling of the van.
But nonetheless, we have a 6-year-old who killed a 13-day-old.
The decision was made not to charge the 6-year-old boy. However, Steele was arrested and charged with aggravated manslaughter for the death of her daughter.
“We decided not to charge him. But nonetheless, we have a 6-year-old who killed a 13-day-old.” -Sheriff Bob Gualtieri
It was reported by Gualtieri that the children were often neglected and left to “run amuck.” Steele was said to not care for her kids, and was negligent and neglectful.
After Steele returned to the van, the 6-year-old allegedly tried to tell the mother that the baby was in distress, but Steele did not listen. Instead, Steele drove to a car rental agency, where she was inside for 30-minutes renewing the rental for the van they were driving.
The 6-year-old told the mother again that Steele was in distress. Steel called a neighbor, who is a nurse, who came to the motel where they were staying to check on the baby. The neighbor said the baby appeared to be dead, so she called paramedics.
Upon arrival, EMS attempted to perform CPR and transported the infant to a local hospital. It was at the hospital that the baby was pronounced dead.
The infant was taken to the hospital with a brain bleed when she was 3-days-old.
This was not the first time an incident had occurred in the infant’s brief life. When Kathleen was just 3-days-old, she had to be taken to the hospital. She was suffering from a brain bleed after an incident at a hotel. Steele claimed that the baby had fallen out of a car seat.
Child Protective Services was called to investigate but determined that the baby falling out of the car seat was an accident. They said there were no signs of abuse at that time. Just ten days later, her 6-year-old brother beat her to death.
Steele was on a reality show called, “I’m Pregnant and…” a show “about pregnant women in different circumstances ranging from being in prison to eating disorders, and how they cope.”
Steele’s husband died years ago from cancer, but Steele had frozen some of his sperm. She was artificially inseminated by a doctor in New York. Steele was 55-years-old when she was pregnant with her 6-year-old son. She was again artificially inseminated to give birth to Kathleen.
After Steele’s arrest, the 3-year-old and 6-year-old were placed into DCF custody.