A couple from Utah has been arrested and charged with murder and child abuse following the death of the woman’s 13-day-old baby.
Maria Elena Sullivan, the infant’s 26-year-old mother, was arrested on Sunday following accusations that her boyfriend, Dylan James Kitzmiller, 21, was abusing the baby and she did nothing to stop it, Fox 13 reported.
Sullivan, who was reportedly on the run and had a warrant out for her arrest, was caught while getting medical care at a hospital in Georgia.
Sullivan and Kitzmiller, who was arrested on Friday, were charged with one count of first-degree murder and three counts of child abuse as second-degree felonies in connection to the baby’s death.
"Both of them were charged because the girlfriend indicated that there was a level of abuse that was going on, she was aware of this abuse, and she took no steps to stop this or to take the child to safety," the district attorney said.
The baby was born on Sept. 4 in good health and was confirmed dead on Sept. 17, Fox 13 reported.
On the day of the infant’s death, Sullivan had reportedly told a friend on the phone that she needed to “get away from Kitzmiller’s abuse.” During the phone call, the baby was alone with the boyfriend.
When Sullivan returned, the baby was only wearing a diaper and Kitzmiller was moving his legs “in a rough weird bicycle thing,” the report said.
Later that night, Sullivan told police she heard the baby making noises and gasping for air. When she tried to get him to respond, he reportedly gasped a few more times before he stopped breathing entirely.
The couple called 911 but responders were unable to save the baby, Fox 13 reported.
Sullivan reportedly told police that Kitzmiller was verbally abusive toward her and physically abusive towards the baby. She said he had thrown the baby around, slapped him in the face, bit his hands, swaddled him face down and once covered the baby’s mouth with his hand as he cried. He also allegedly used heroin while he was with the infant.
Sullivan also said that despite knowing of Kitzmiller’s “rough” behavior, she continued to leave her baby with him and didn’t seek medical care, Fox 13 reported.
The baby reportedly had “massive” brain swelling, a broken rib and fractured spine. The baby also lost 14 percent of his body weight, according to a doctor who examined him.