On September 28, the Milwaukee Fire Department was dispatched to a home because of a report of “smoke.” No one appeared to be home, so the firefighters forced their way into the residence of Amelia Di Stasio.
Smoke was coming off the stove. The bathtub, too, appeared to be smoking. Clothing was piled next to the tub, Fox 6 Now reports.
Upon looking closer, firefighters discovered a lifeless child.
His hands were bound behind his back, held together by seven belts, the autopsy later revealed. The complaint noted that there was a garbage bag over his head “pulled tight and knotted at the back,” and that “the majority of his body was burned.” A pet guinea pig was also found drowned in its cage next to the bathtub.
A bottle of canola oil was left on the bathroom sink. The smoke detector had been removed and placed in the water.
When police arrived, they identified the victim as 4-year-old Antonio Di Stasio, Amelia’s young autistic son.
A neighbor told police that the Di Stasios had moved in two months prior and said Amelia “wasn’t friendly and kept to herself.” She added that the day before Antonio’s death, she heard the young boy cry out:
“Please, Mommy. Stop! I won’t do it again.”
To which she responded, “Shut up.”
The next morning, the neighbor heard “a banging noise” coming from Amelia’s apartment.
Another witness reported that on September 28, she saw a woman jump from the windowsill of the apartment, looking “frazzled.”
Di Stasio was arrested later that day. An officer stopped her after he spotted her walking on the street. In her purse, investigators found “a handwritten note with a woman’s name and telephone number on it.”
When investigators called the number, they were connected with a man and his wife who reported that on September 28, they encountered Amelia, who had been crying. When they asked her what was wrong, she asked if they knew a pastor. She said she needed to talk with someone and said, “I did something really bad” and that she had “never did nothing like that before.”
The man told Amelia that his wife was a Christian and would be able to talk with her. He gave her the note with their number on it.
A review of Amelia’s phone revealed some unsettling searches, such as “how to canabals [sic] die,” and “how to kill a canabal [sic].” Additionally:
The cell phone search also revealed a message board dedicated to an online game billed as a “horror survival game” in which players fight cannibals. The message board “detailed the ways to kill cannibals within the game,” and recommended the first way was to “kill it with fire.” Additionally, it discussed how in the game, cannibals “like to bathe in oil.”
If convicted, Amelia faces life in prison.
The community is reeling with the loss of this child. Ralph Di Stasio, Antonio’s grandfather, said:
“It’s impossible to describe it. I got to hope that Antonio is in heaven and I got to pray that Amelia gets help if she needs help and I believe she does.”
He added that his daughter has mental health issues, including bipolar disorder, but she was devoted to her son. He said she taught her son the alphabet and how to count.
While Ralph seeks solace from this tragedy, he is also looking for Antonio’s “Sesame Street” doll. He said the character “Grover” was Antonio’s favorite:
“I’m going to bury Grover with him because he loved Grover.”
Ralph set up a GoFundMe page to help raise funds for the funeral. The wake is on Monday, October 9, with the burial the following day.
Watch the video below.