A five year old girl has admitted to killing an 18 month old boy to stop him from crying.
The girl had been left in the care of a teenager, with several other children, while the adult of the home went to collect the 18-month-old’s father. When the 18 month old boy was found dead in the bathroom last week, a verdict of accidental death was recorded, until social workers spoke to the young girl. The Telegraph reports that she then admitted, saying she held the 18 month old’s head under water to stop him from crying.
Police have not arrested the girl, and the case has been referred to the Jackson County’s Family Court division. It raises questions over how to cope with a case involving such a young suspect.
The director of a national child advocacy organization based in Baltimore, Bart Lubow, said that a five year old would be unlikely to know what ‘drowning’ means, and would be unable to form intent.
“You can imagine a child responding to other children’s crying by saying, ‘I know how to stop that’. But the notion that there was intent there is silly. For a five-year-old, this is well beyond the pale of what our criminal or delinquency laws are intended to address.”
A spokesman for the Kansas City Police Department gave a statement, revealing that the two children were related, but not giving exact details on how.
“The five-year-old became upset when the 18-month-old would not stop crying and took the 18-month-old into the bathroom and drowned him. As of right now, from her statement, yes, she is a suspect.”
It is believed that the 18-month-olds father had arrived in Kansas to take the child back to their home in St Louis. It is not known how long the adult had been gone for before the incident occured.