A 22-year-old man from Manahawkin, New Jersey, has been arrested for raping his girlfriend's 2-year-old daughter and killing her, the Courier Post Online reports. The man, identified as Michael Disporto, Jr., was charged with first degree murder and sexual assault of the toddler on Sunday. The 2-year-old victim has been identified only by her first name "Ariana." The toddler's mother, 26-year-old Amber Bobo, has also been arrested. She has been charged with second-degree endangering the welfare of a child.
According to Camden County Prosecutor Mary Eva Colalillo and Gloucester City Police Chief Brian Morrell, the murder of the child occurred on July 3, 2016, in Gloucester City. A statement issued by Camden County Prosecutor's Office added that Disporto will be arraigned before Superior Court Judge John T. Kelley today.
While the actual circumstances in which the toddler died is still under investigation, a press release issued by the Camden County Prosecutor's Office read as follows.
"On Sunday, July 3, a 911 call was made at approximately 6:04 p.m. and an ambulance responded to the 100 block of S. King Street in Gloucester City. The victim was transported by ambulance to Cooper University Hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced dead at approximately 6:26 p.m. on July 5, 2016."More details have been posted on a Facebook account by a relative of the child's father. We have embedded it below. The post is said to be a message from Ariana's grandfather who is not on Facebook.
The same account has also posted an older video of the little girl giggling and laughing in a car.
Relatives of the baby are shocked at the brutal manner in which her life was snuffed out. Destiny Hughes, one of baby Ariana's cousins, described her as the most beautiful baby you'd ever meet.
"She was the most beautiful baby you'd ever meet. She was always smiling, dancing, laughing. She went to bed with a smile, she woke up with a smile and she'd wake up in the middle of the night just to laugh. She was my whole world. She made me feel so good about myself."She added that the baby's mother, Amber Bobo, and the child's father had separated and that she was dating Disporto.
Meanwhile, a probable cause statement filed in the case has revealed several shocking facts about the case. According to the statement, the baby was picked up by Amber Bobo and Disporto the day before the crime from her father's home. After getting custody of the child, Disporto told Amber he wanted to take her to a nearby park "to get to know the child better." He returned 15 minutes later. In the evening, Disporto once again, took the toddler with him to watch a fireworks show. Amber did not accompany them because she was feeling very tired. The duo returned 30 minutes later after which Bobo put the child to sleep in their bedroom.
In the morning, Amber woke up to find that the toddler was not on the bed -- but on a couch where Disporto was sleeping. The child was wrapped in a blanket. Amber did not think too much about it and went back to sleep again. When she woke up again, she found that the toddler was wearing a different outfit from what she had seen earlier. She also noticed several bruises on the child. When questioned, Disporto denied any knowledge of the same, and later claimed that the toddler had fallen in the park they had been to. When she insisted on taking the child to a hospital, Disporto talked her out of it. Later in the day, Amber found more bruises on child, especially in the genital areas. Once again, Disporto denied any knowledge and once again convinced her not to take the child for a check up. The couple then took the child to a local mall where the toddler started vomiting. Two hours later, they returned home and once again, the child started vomiting. Surprisingly, they did not take the child to a doctor even after this and decided to once again, shop at the mall.
After they returned home, the toddler's condition worsened and her eyes rolled to the back of her head, and and she became completely motionless. It was after this that Amber decided to call 911. This happened at 6:04 p.m. An entire day had passed and the toddler did not receive any medical attention until then. After the child was transported to the Cooper University Hospital, she was diagnosed with a subdural hemorrhage and cerebral edema. The child also had bruising and swelling on her genitals. Her humerus bone was fractured. There were traces of blood and urine on her abdomen. The child was kept on life support for the entire day and 24 hours after the incident, she was pronounced dead. The cause of death has been described as " blunt force trauma to the head," which meant that Ariana might have also been tortured by Disporto.
Ariana's father, Rob, has been devastated by the incident and refuses to talk to anyone else. He was planning to celebrate Ariana's second birthday on July 15.
Paul Pearson, Ariana's step-grandfather, created a GoFundMe page for Ariana where donations have been pouring in.
"A few short days ago Rob was planning a 2nd birthday party (7/15) for his princess and now he is planning a funeral," Pearson wrote on the page.
[Images Via GoFundMe, Facebook]