Two parents in Florida are facing numerous charges for brutally abusing their six children, ultimately leading to the death of a 6-year-old boy, officials said.
Florida Parents Charged In Beating Death Of 6-Year-Old Son
Bianca Blaise, 25, and Larry Rhodes, 22, Are Charged With Their Son's Death
Osceola County Sheriff Marcos Lopez said Bianca Blaise, 25, and Larry Rhodes, 22, are responsible for the murder of their 6-year-old son.
Police Initially Responded To Reports Of A Drowning
Lopez said at a press conference that deputies responded to the Knights Inn Hotel in Kissimmee, Florida on July 5 after Blaise called them about a drowning. It appears the family was living in the hotel.
However, when deputies arrived, they discovered the 6-year-old boy had not drowned. Instead, they said it appeared he was unconscious because he was brutally beaten.
Police Say They Beat The Boy For Drinking From A Toliet
Deputies learned that the boy was drinking from the toilet because he was extremely thirsty and did not have access to water. His parents were enraged by this and attacked the young boy.
Lopez said his mother beat him first, and then his father repeatedly punched the boy with a closed fist.
“The reason he wasn’t breathing is because his parents got very angry that he was drinking out of the toilet and started to beat him." Osceola County Sheriff Marcos R. Lopez said at a Wednesday press conference. "First, the mother beat him. Then the father started repeatedly punching this little boy with closed fists. He punched him multiple times. In the head and the stomach area. This was a 6-year-old child.”
The Couple's Other Children All Showed Signs Of Abuse
The 6-year-old boy was on life support in the hospital with a brain bleed, officials said. He died a few days later when he was taken off life support.
Lopez said the investigation revealed that the couple’s five other children were also abused. They range in age from 10 months old to 5 years old.
Lopez said the parents would beat their children with the bottom of a shoe. Detectives were able to match the markings on the children’s bodies with the imprint of the shoe. Evidence photos show the shoe with dried blood on the bottom.
“Injuries on their butt, like things that we can’t show you cause it’s just too traumatizing; it’s traumatizing for us to have seen them and we have the experience,” Detective Suzanne Clouchete said. “Just dead skin cells from being hurt so badly, just horrible, horrible injuries on all of the children.”