It’s a moment almost all parents or caregivers of baby boys have experienced — opening the baby’s diaper to change him and getting urinated on in the process. It’s a common hazard. And, fortunately, most folks are able to wipe themselves off, shake it off, complete the diaper change, and maybe even laugh.
But Martin Alvarado, Jr. flew into a rage after his girlfriend’s 18-month-old son Edwin O’Reilly urinated on him during a diaper change, assaulting the baby boy several times. Alvarado repeatedly struck the toddler after the diaper-changing incident, and the beatings he administered to Edwin proved to be fatal.
The rage-induced abuse incident took place at the child’s house in Cook County, Illinois, where it is reported that Alvarado was responsible for caring for the toddler at the time. Police and paramedics responded to a call from the home stating that the toddler boy was unresponsive. Baby Edwin later died at MacNeal Hospital, located in nearby Berwyn, at 6:38 p.m.
The Cook County medical examiner’s office states that the boy “died Thursday of multiple blunt force injuries from child abuse,” and ruled the boy’s death a homicide, according to the autopsy that was conducted on Friday, a day after Edwin was killed.
According to local police, Alvarado made incriminating statements during questioning, and eventually made a video-taped confession to the beating that led to the death of 18-month-old Edwin O’Reilly. He has been charged with first-degree murder and has a court bond hearing scheduled for Monday.
A spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services admits that the agency had prior contact with the family, but would not offer any elaborations or further details. Currently, the Department of Children and Family Services is now investigating allegations of neglect in relation to Edwin’s mother, as well as the abuse allegations against Alvarado.
Edwin also had an older sibling, who has been delivered into the care of another family member.
The death of Edwin O’Reilly at the hands of Martin Alvarado may be just one more case of a child who lost his life while authorities were aware of suspected abuse but were unable — or unwilling — to do anything about it. In fact, reports show that a child dying at the hands of their abuser during investigations happen more often than even previously believed. To read more on the heartbreaking number of children who died while in plain sight of authorities, click here.
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. To learn how you can detect the warning signs of child abuse, click here.