The 32-year-old man was arrested and taken into custody on Monday. Prosecutors said the man is accused of beating his girlfriend’s 3-year-old child to death and is now charged with one count of murder for killing the 3-year-old boy. The child’s mother was charged with one count of neglect of a dependent. Family members told police that he was never affectionate with the 3-year-old boy and that the child had bruises and scratches on his face when they last saw him and the couple blamed the injuries on a dog.
The 32-year-old man from Indiana, Joseph Pridemore Sr. and the 23-year-old mother, Kylie Fugate, are both charged in the death of Keegan Fugate, according to reports.
On Oct. 12, the mother called police and told them that her son had vomited multiple times over a 24-hour period and had stopped breathing. Officers and EMS personnel responded to the scene and attempted to resuscitate the child before rushing him to hospital. Unfortunately, the boy was pronounced dead shortly after.
Prosecutors said the 3-year-old victim suffered multiple injuries, including: dislocated neck, bruising of the brain, lacerated liver and bruised pancreas. The victim also sustained extensive bruising on his body.
During an interview, the 23-year-old mother reportedly told investigators that her boyfriend did not live with her and her son in their apartment. She also said that her boyfriend’s mother was watching the victim in the hours before he sustained his injuries.
But, one of Pridemore’s relatives told investigators that Pridemore’s mother would not lie about babysitting Keegan. Pridemore’s mom planned on telling police the truth. Other members of the boyfriends’ family also told investigators that he often became violent when he was angry.
The family members also told police that he was never affectionate with the 3-year-old boy and that the child had bruises and scratches on his face when they last saw him and the couple blamed the injuries on a dog.
Investigators noticed the mother was not crying as she peeked around curtains in the emergency room but then began crying uncontrollably when he began watching her.
When Pridemore’s family noticed bruising and scratches on the boyd’s face and head, the ‘mother told them the boy had been injured by a dog.’
Two days after the child’s death, the mother admitted that her boyfriend was the one watching Keegan during the time the baby sustained his injuries, not his mother.
This incident remains under investigation. This is a developing story and it will be updated as new information become available.