A 25-year-old Milwaukee father walked into a pond on Saturday, cradling his crying infant son; then sat down in the water until the child drowned.
According to a neighbor, Robert Amstadt, what he witnessed from his apartment window on Saturday was “the most evil thing I’ve seen.” He watched as the Milwaukee father walked into the water and sat down, with the water up to his chest, and the baby could not be seen.
“That baby cried all the way out into the water,” Amstadt said. “Then the crying stopped.”
— Local 12/WKRC-TV (@Local12) August 2, 2016
Amstadt said the 25-year-old suspect made no attempt to hold the baby up out of the water and that a second man followed the father into the pond. Amstadt went on to describe how the second man was pleading with the Milwaukee father in an attempt to save the infant’s life. “He was pleading, ‘Let the baby go, give me the baby,’ ” Amstadt said.
The Washington Post reports that initially Amstadt heard a loud argument outside the adjacent apartment building, although initially trees blocked his view.
Amstadt said he heard a woman scream, “Give me back my baby,” and then saw the suspect holding the infant and walking along a path between the apartment building and the pond.
Amstadt said, “It was a hornet’s nest of people moving around… crying and screaming.”
He said at that stage, another man tried to take the baby away from the suspect, who pulled the baby’s arm out of the other man’s reach and the baby started to cry. At that stage, Amstadt called 911.
As people yelled to him “Don’t go in the water,” the suspect walked into the water with the baby, according to Amstadt.
While the other man did manage to take the baby away from the Milwaukee father, he apparently snatched it back, and people were screaming, “He’s drowning the baby.”
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel was unable to identify the suspect, as he had not yet been criminally charged. However, as reported by Milwaukee police on Sunday, the suspect is now in custody on a pending homicide charge and is accused of drowning his three-month-old son in the storm water pond, following an argument with the child’s mother.
As reported by The Washington Post, the suspect was later named as Sean A. Flowers, Jr., and the baby was Sean A. Flowers III, born on April 18. The Post also mentioned Flowers was recently ordered to pay higher child support, at $62.50 per week, which was reportedly set to begin on Monday.
It turns out a man with the same name and date of birth as the Milwaukee father was the subject of a domestic violence restraining order petition, filed in Milwaukee County Circuit Court during April 2015. However, the suspect was not properly served and the court denied the restraining order, dismissing the case. It is not clear whether the petitioner seeking the restraining order was the mother of the child in question.
Milwaukee police said the child’s parents were arguing on Saturday, when the father grabbed the crying infant, walked into the pond and sat down.
According to a witness, Joey Griffin, “People yelled, ‘Don’t go in the water.'”
“I yelled at him ‘where’s the baby? Where’s the baby?'” Griffin told WITI-TV. “And then I saw a baby floating in the water. I grabbed it. I tried to swim away with it. He lunged at me and took the baby again and swam farther, deeper.”
Police had been called to the scene and officers ran into the pond in an attempt to rescue the baby boy, but reportedly the father was no longer holding him. They arrested the suspect and began a search for the three-month-old baby, finding him unconscious in the water within minutes.
Milwaukee firefighters attempted unsuccessfully to revive the baby; he died at the scene.
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) August 1, 2016
Sunday saw a memorial set up for the baby on the pond shore, with stuffed animals, balloons and an angel figurine. According to Amstadt, he prayed for the family, as “I can’t imagine what they’re going through.”
[Photo mugshot via Milwaukee Police]