Wisconsin mom Amelia Di Stasio is facing first-degree intentional homicide charges in the September 28 death of her 4-year-old son. According to authorities, the 23-year-old mother restrained her autistic child with belts, secured a plastic bag over his head, and lit him on fire with the aid of an unknown accelerant.
The horrifying crime was brought to the attention of the Milwaukee Fire Department at approximately 7:30 a.m. on September 28. A concerned neighbor notified the department that they had seen and smelled smoke coming from Di Stasio’s apartment. When they arrived, Fox News reports that first responders had to force their way into the Wisconsin apartment. Once inside, they reportedly found smoke coming from the stove and pile of clothing in the bathtub.
In addition, firefighters discovered the bound and charred body of a small child, later determined to be 4-year-old Antonio Di Stasio. In the criminal complaint that has since been filed against his mother Amelia Di Stasio, authorities described a horrifying scene. The young boy’s lifeless body was found bound with “seven belts,” covered in severe burns, and with a plastic garbage bag over his head.
“The majority of his body was burned.”
An autopsy determined that the belts had been used to strap Antonio Di Stasio’s arms to his sides. The plastic garbage bag was tightly secured over his head tied in the back, the majority of his body was covered in thermal injuries, and his skin was literally charred. While an official cause of death has not been released, the small child’s death has been ruled to be a homicide.
A deceased guinea pig was found drowned in a cage near the bathtub, and a bottle of canola oil was located on the bathroom sink. The apartment’s smoke detector was found submerged in water. Police officers quickly arrived on scene; Amelia Di Stasio was not home when investigators began their initial search of the apartment she’d shared with her only child.
A witness and neighbor of Di Stasio reportedly told investigators that the Wisconsin mom and her son had moved into the apartment just two months ago. According to the unnamed witness, Amelia Di Stasio mostly kept to herself and “wasn’t friendly.” The day before the unthinkable crime scene was found in her home, the neighbor claims that she heard little Antonio yelling, “Please, Mommy. Stop! I won’t do it again.” Amelia reportedly responded by shouting at her son to “shut up.”
The same witness claims to have heard a loud “banging noise” resounding from Amelia Di Stasio’s apartment the day that her autistic 4-year-old was found dead.
Another witness advised investigators that they’d seen a “frazzled” woman jump from the windowsill of the building the day of the fire. Amelia Di Stasio was arrested later that same day after a police officer saw her walking down a nearby street. When she was arrested, police say they found a handwritten note with a phone number on Di Stasio’s person. When they called, Fox 6 News reports that they spoke to a husband and wife who claimed to have spoken with Amelia on September 28. They claimed that she told them, “I did something really bad.”
The criminal complaint indicates that an inspection of Di Stasio’s phone revealed searches for “how do canabals (sic) die” and “how to kill a canabal (sic)” made on September 28.
The Wisconsin mom has since been criminally charged with first-degree intentional homicide in connection with her son’s horrific death and is being held on a $350,000 cash-only bond. If convicted of the crime, Di Stasio could spend the rest of her life in prison.
[Featured Image by Milwaukee Police Department]