A 2-year-old boy’s mother encouraged her live-in boyfriend to “f**k him up” after he sent her images of her bruised baby, reports Click Orlando.
Shannon Short, 26, lived with her boyfriend, also 26, in a home on Memorial Park Avenue in Florida’s Polk County. Short worked in Kissimmee and left her boyfriend to care for her toddler son, Harley Don Hiatt Jr.
Early morning on Tuesday this week, Polk County Sheriff’s Office received information about the little boy being unresponsive. He was quickly taken to a hospital, where doctors pronounced him dead a few hours later. The little child bled to his death.
Going by the marks and injury bruises on his body, officers knew something was deeply wrong. They confronted Short, who told them that her son was regularly beaten up by her boyfriend while she worked. Investigation showed that her boyfriend, Christian Thompson, would send her texts and images of her son after beating him up, and he did so on multiple occasions. Sometimes he would even blame the injuries on the boy himself.
Back in June, Thompson messaged Short at work, saying the child was trying to hurt himself, “Um ya son tryna kill hisself.”
In one instance, Short told Thomson to “f**k him up,” seeming to approve her boyfriend’s abuses.
What is truly tragic about the case is the fact that the child could have been saved. Just a week before his death, on July 23, he was taken to the same hospital where he eventually died. According to police reports, Harley hadn’t opened his eyes for two days at the time, and although it is not clear what the diagnosis had been, Thompson sent the following text to Short on the same day.
“I think they calling (Child Protective Services) on me I think they bout to try to take Harley.”
Four days later on July 27, Thompson sent images of the boy’s face, which had several marks. Thompson said the scratch marks were the toddler’s own doing but police concluded that the wounds seemed more like welt marks as if Harley had been hit in the face with a belt repeatedly.
Last weekend, the little boy was vomiting and had doubled over holding his stomach, but his mother didn’t seek medical attention fearing that law enforcement might get involved. Instead, she chose to give the 2-year-old some antibiotics and went to smoke marijuana with her boyfriend.
“When you hear what this precious baby boy was put through, it’s sickening. His mother knew about the abuse, allowed it, and continued to leave him in the care of his abuser,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said.
“She and her boyfriend even joked about it. The whole thing is heartbreaking, and I don’t think it’s possible for me to be more disgusted by their actions.”
The couple has been arrested, with Thompson charged with first-degree murder while Short has been charged with aggravated manslaughter of a child. Multiple other charges are also stacked against them.