Mason Madden was a smiling baby like most six-month-old babies, but that all ended when he died on Wednesday at Greenville Memorial Hospital in South Carolina just after 2 p.m. on Wednesday. Now police say that the massive brain injuries that killed little Mason were caused by the baby's own father, 22-year-old Joseph Galloway.
Galloway was arrested in Tuesday after he called 911 to report that his son was not breathing, and "something wasn't right" with the little boy.
Something definitely was not right with Mason. When paramedics arrived the home in Laurens, South Carolina, Mason's heart was not beating. They rushed the baby to a nearby hospital, where doctors worked all night to save Mason's life, and the infant was placed on life support. But they damage inflicted on the boy was just too severe.
Mason Madden died the next day.
"The child suffered brain injuries that are not consistent with a fall or a strike to a head," said Laurens County Sheriff's Sergenat Barton Holmes. "They are more likely from squeezing the child or shaking the child."
An autopsy has not yet been performed on the baby, but will likely take place later in the week, Laurens County Coroner Nick Nichols said.
Initially, the young dad was charged with abuse of a child causing great bodily harm. But once Mason passed away, the charges against Joseph Galloway was upgraded to homicide.
Where was the baby's mother? Kayla Madden, 23, was reportedly out of the home at work when her boyfriend and father of her child fatally attacked the baby.
But she has been arrested and charged now, as well. The mom was hit with a count of unlawful conduct toward a child.
Police did not specify the exact details of the unlawful conduct allegedly committed by Kayla Madden. But it is at least possible that she is being held responsible simply for leaving her baby alone at home with his violently-inclined dad.
According to police, the fatal assault on Mason was just the latest, and last, in a series of incidents of abuse over recent weeks.
According to Sheriff's Lieutenant Jawarski Shelton, Galloway has confessed to abusing his infant son.
"He did indicate certain actions that likely resulted in the injuries sustained by the child," Holmes also said.
The horrifying case comes up about five weeks after a couple in Indiana were arrested for allegedly abusing their one-year-old for the entire life of the baby, until they killed the child in late May.
Galloway is now being held without bond in Laurens County Detention Center, but a new bond hearing was scheduled for both parents of Mason Madden on Thursday afternoon, following the child's death.
[Images: Laurens County Sheriff's Department, Handout]