North Carolina mom Brittany Bell left home for a quick bite to eat with her boyfriend on Sunday, completely unaware of what her 7-month-old son’s babysitter was doing back at home.
According to The Fayetteville Observer, 24-year-old Garrett Clay Fredrick was put in charge of watching baby Damion for about 30 minutes while Bell and James Locust went to get food.
The mom said she left her child safe in his bassinet, but the couple returned home to find him unresponsive.
She immediately contacted police, who told her to perform CPR on the baby. Bell told the dispatcher:
“His lips are blue. He’s blue.”
Fredrick told the mother that their dog had attacked the child while he was out smoking a cigarette, but that he didn’t contact police. He then fled home before authorities arrived.Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office
Damion was airlifted to Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, according to the Shelby Star. There doctors determined that he had trauma-related injuries, that were later confirmed to be from shaking.
Sadly, the baby passed away early Tuesday morning.
Police started a manhunt for Frederick and eventually arrested him nearby on Tuesday afternoon. He has since been charged with first-degree murder.
Sheriff Alan Norman said in a news release:
“Anyone who would do this to an innocent, defenseless baby is an evil coward. My faith tells me that he will have a day of reckoning in front of the Almighty, once his time on this earth is over. In the meantime, our detectives will put together a case that ensures he is held accountable to the laws of this state, and he will not be able to do this to any other defenseless victims. During the course of our work, our deputies sometimes see the worst of what humans can do to each other. We take some small satisfaction from the fact that we can hold the perpetrators of pure evil acts accountable.”
Police confirmed that Frederick is a known Bloods gang member, though it’s unclear if the child’s mother knew this.
Sadly, this is not the first time a child has died while in the care of someone thought to be trustworthy. In April, a woman left her two grandchildren in the care of their uncle. When she returned, both had sustained “life-threatening injuries.” After the 15-month-old passed away from her injuries, the uncle was charged with murder.
Frederick is currently being held without bond.