A Largo, Florida, mother has been arrested after her 6-year-old son beat her 13-day-old daughter to death on Monday. At the time of the alleged beating death, the 62-year-old mom had left her children alone in a locked vehicle. The Florida mother, Kathleen Marie Steele, is facing aggravated manslaughter charges in connection with her infant daughter’s beating death.
Reportedly, the infant girl was born via artificial insemination using Steele’s deceased husband’s sperm. According to a report by KTLA, the arrested Florida mother also named her daughter Kathleen Steele.
Police investigating the case are calling the beating death of the 2-week old infant girl one of the “worst things they’ve ever seen,” and Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri addressed the media for a full 30 minutes on Thursday as he tried to describe the horror that law enforcement encountered when investigating the unthinkable crime. It has been reported that part of the investigation into the arrested Florida mother will include looking into why a 62-year-old woman was artificially inseminated in the first place, without regard for her ability to care for an infant.
According to multiple reports and in the police officer’s own words, the Florida mother had a history of not properly attending to her two other children prior to giving birth to her now-deceased infant daughter. In addition to her infant daughter, the arrested Florida mother’s 3-year-old son is also the product of artificial insemination.
“By numerous witness accounts, Kathleen Steel was an inattentive parent and (the two boys) were largely unsupervised and had very serious behavior injuries.”
According to reports, authorities had been repeatedly contacted in the past to conduct welfare checks on the arrested Florida mother’s children, and law enforcement have referred to her as “ill-equipped” to parent.
The unthinkable crime that led to the arrest of the Florida mother allegedly happened on Monday afternoon, and was seemingly entirely preventable. A police investigation into the event uncovered that she had left all three of her small children locked together in her vehicle. In addition to the 13-day-old infant and the 6-year-old who allegedly beat the baby to death, the Florida mother’s 3-year-old son was also reportedly in the vehicle.
Police state that Steele left the small children alone in the car so that she could have her cell phone repaired. Reportedly, the three children were locked in the car for at least 30 minutes before the Florida mother returned. This time frame has been verified by a surveillance video, according to investigators.
It was during the time period that the arrested Florida mother left her small children locked in the parked car that the unthinkable reportedly happened.
The baby girl began to cry loudly, and her mother was nowhere to be found. It was then that police allege that the 6-year-old removed the infant from her car seat and began to savagely beat her, slamming her around, pummeling her, and throwing her to the floor of the locked car.
“…the 6-year-old removed (her) from the car seat and began flipping her multiple times back and forth, dropping her on the floor, slamming her head against the ceiling, striking her in the face.”
After the brutal beating, the 6-year-old reportedly put his brutalized baby sister back into her infant seat. When the Florida mother returned to the car, her 6-year-old had only two words for her: “It’s serious.”
At this point, report authorities, the case of the arrested 62-year-old Florida mother got even more inexplicable. Rather than immediately taking her badly beaten infant to the hospital for care and/or calling 911 for emergency assistance for the little girl, the Florida mother drove to a car rental agency to handle business related to the vehicle she was driving.
In fact, the Florida mother, who was arrested on aggravated manslaughter charges in connection to the death of her 13-day-old daughter, never took the infant to the hospital. She never called 911. Instead, about two hours after her 6-year-old violently beat her infant, she called a neighbor for help. By the time the neighbor arrived on the scene, the baby was dead and beyond saving.
“The skull was cracked in numerous places, described as probably mush … one of the worst things that I’ve ever seen.”
The neighbor contacted authorities who had the lifeless baby transported to a local hospital, where her death was officially confirmed and pronounced.
According to law enforcement, the 6-year-old boy in question told authorities that he beat the infant to death. However, due to his age he won’t be criminally charged in the death of his baby sister. He has, however, been taken into state’s custody, along with his 3-year-old brother.
Authorities investigating the case of the Florida mother, who reportedly once appeared on a television show called I’m 55 and Pregnant, have been traumatized by what they’ve witnessed over the course of their investigation, reports WFLA 8. Not just concerning the horrific injuries suffered by the deceased infant, but by the behavior of the baby’s older siblings and the “aloof” demeanor of their mother.
Police reports indicate that the infant was so violently beaten that they found her blood on the ceiling of the vehicle in which she was brutalized. Her 6-year-old brother also exhibited violent behavior to investigators and showed no remorse for the gruesome murder. The 13-day-old’s official cause of death was “severe head trauma.”
“We had him show us with a doll, and it was very violent. He was slamming that doll, and it’s terrible.”
At this point, no court date has been set in the case of the Florida mother arrested for the beating death of her tiny infant, nor has she been released from custody.
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