Rather than protecting her child from abuse, an Ohio mother allegedly placed her 3-year-old in the care of two babysitters who were ultimately indicted for the death of her son.
Police arrested Beverly J. Santiago, 35, over her failure to heed a warning to remove her child from a potentially dangerous situation.
According to the Star Beacon, a pediatrician identified suspicious “pre-existing” injuries a few days prior to his death and instructed the mother:
“To avoid using the Olahs for child care purposes any further.”
In April, caregivers Valorie D. Olah, 57, and Samantha M. Olah, 26, reported to police that the toddler had fallen down a flight of steps and died.
Investigators, however, discovered that Brantley Santiago had sustained nonaccidental injuries at the hands of his caregivers from the April 25 incident.
After falsely claiming that Brantley had accidentally fallen, the Olahs were arrested for inflicting the injuries on the little boy that lead to his death and were charged for murder.
Prosecuting Attorney Nicholas Larocci said in a press release:
Medical evidence demonstrates that the injuries sustained by Brantley which led to his death could not have been exclusively caused by a fall down a flight of stairs, as alleged by the Olahs.
The Erie News Now reports, the two babysitters each face two counts of murder, two counts of involuntary manslaughter, one count of felonious assault, one count of second-degree endangering children, and one count of third-degree endangering children.
Beverly was charged with involuntary manslaughter and one count of endangering children. All three suspects were arraigned on Friday and pleaded not guilty. The Olahs told police that Brantley’s death was an accident.
The judge denied Samantha’s request to have contact with her toddler son. Magistrate Benjamin Marley said:
“The defendant is not to have contact with any minors and there will not be an exception for her child.”
Neither of the two defendants nor Beverly Santiago have a criminal history prior to the hearing.
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