I drowned baby to stop him crying, says girl (5)
Published 11/06/2011 | 05:00
POLICE in Missouri are treating the death of an 18-month-old boy who drowned in a bathtub as a potential homicide, after a five-year-old girl told social workers that she held him under water to stop his crying.
Kansas City police said the girl, who was left with other children in the care of a teenager, was considered a possible suspect in the toddler's death last week, raising complicated legal questions about how a court could proceed with a case against her.
Bart Lubow, the director of a US child advocacy organisation, said a five-year-old was incapable of forming intent, and likely wouldn't even know what drowning meant.
Police said the child had not been arrested, and the case had been referred to the family courts division.
Police originally ruled the death as accidental, but said that changed after social workers reported that the girl told them she had brought the toddler into the bathroom and drowned him.
"She became upset when the child wouldn't stop crying and took the two year old into the bathroom and drowned him," said Darin Snapp of Kansas City police. He said the children were related, but it was unclear exactly how.
The children had been left under the supervision of a teenager while an adult in the home went to pick up the father of the 18-month-old, Mr Snapp said. The father had recently arrived inthe city to take the infant back to their home in St Louis.
In Missouri, a child has to be 12 years old before he or she can be certified to stand trial.