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article imageFlorida woman charged after son beats newborn sister to death

By Karen Graham     Aug 12, 2016 in Crime
Largo - A 62-year-old Florida woman has been charged with aggravated manslaughter after her six-year-old son beat his 13-day-old newborn sister to death.
Police in Largo, Florida arrested 62-year-old Kathleen Marie Steele in the violent death of her newborn daughter at the hands of her six-year-old son after the children and a three-year-old brother had been left alone in her minivan while she was in a cell phone shop for 38 minutes.
The incident took place in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Monday afternoon. At a news conference Thursday, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gulatieri said the baby was pronounced dead at St. Petersburg General Hospital. Gulatieri spoke for over 30 minutes, concluding with, "It was one of the worst things I've ever seen."
Steele gave birth to her daughter, also named Kathleen Steele, through artificial insemination using preserved sperm from her husband who died of cancer in 2011. All three of her children were conceived through in-vitro fertilization, according to CTV News Canada.
Sheriff Gualtieri says the six-year-old boy will not be charged, and was very forthcoming and described what he did in great detail, using a doll. "He was very demonstrative in what he did. We had him show us with a doll and it was very violent. He was slamming that doll. It was terrible," he said.
The child became upset when the baby started crying. He took the child out of the car seat and threw her around and "pummeled" her head against the ceiling of the vehicle, turning her head to mush, says the sheriff. "He was tossing that baby around like a rag doll." He then put the baby back in her car seat. This all occurred while the three-year-old was in the car.
NBC6 Miami reports that according to investigators, when the mother finally returned to the van, the boy tried to tell her something was wrong with the baby, saying it's "serious." The mother ignored the boy and drove on to another business before finally going home. When she took the children out of her vehicle, she noticed that something was wrong.
Investigators said that when the woman noticed the child's injuries, she called a neighbor who happened to be a nurse. The nurse was the person who called 911. "But by that point, it was too late," Gualtieri said. "The baby had likely been dead since they left the cell phone store."
"The baby was beaten and traumatized," the sheriff said. "There was gross swelling in her face. Her skull was cracked in numerous places."
What is utterly incomprehensible to paramedics when they arrived was the fact that the woman seemed to be unconcerned about the baby's condition. She went ahead into the kitchen and started putting away her groceries while they attempted to revive the baby.
When Steele was interviewed Monday night, she appeared aloof, never asking about her daughter. When told the baby was dead, she told the sheriff, "I guess I have to plan a funeral."
Steele's sons were placed into therapeutic foster care on Monday. Steele is being held on $100,000 bond. It is unclear at this time if she has a lawyer.
Gualtieri said Steele was “ill-equipped to have a baby” and said police had been called to the home numerous times by neighbors who were concerned about the children, according to local station
“By numerous witness accounts, Kathleen Steel was an inattentive parent and (the two boys) were largely unsupervised and had very serious behavior injuries.”
More about newborn beaten to death, Florida woman, Invitro fertilization, 62 year old woman, aggrevated manslaughter
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