An 11-year-old girl was charged with the death of a baby boy. Police believe she was the one who inflicted "severe injuries" to the infant before he died. The unidentified 11-year-old from Suitland, Maryland, now faces child abuse charges in the death of 1-year-old Paxton Davis, as both police and the families struggle to make sense of the alleged attack.
According to CNN, Paxton was left in the care of the girl's family on Sunday morning. The 11-year-old's mother had to run an errand and "briefly" left the infant alone with the pre-teen. It was in that short period of time that police believe the girl severely assaulted the boy.
A GoFundMe account created by the boy's aunt explained that the girl has "severe anger issues. ... The mother left the home and the girl struck him with an object which caused his injuries," she explained.
It was only when the girl's family returned home that they discovered what she had done.
Buzzfeed reports that Paxton was then rushed to Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Maj. Brian Reilly, commander of Prince George’s County Police's criminal investigation division, told reporters Friday that it took little time for hospital staff to deduce that Paxton's injuries were the result of abuse.
“When hospital staff took a look at our 1-year-old victim, they immediately called child abuse detectives due to the severity of his injuries,” Reilly said. “It was clear from the beginning that the injuries Paxton suffered were not consistent with the normal play of a 1-year-old.”
Paxton's mother had been told at first that her son had fallen while in the girl's care, but it was later apparent that this was not the case, NBC 4 notes.
Police arrived at the hospital about 3:30 p.m. and reported that Paxton had suffered "severe upper body trauma” and his GoFundMe suggested that he had a fractured skull.
"Due to the injuries sustained, his brain began to swell and he was put on a ventilator," the fundraising page said.
Meanwhile, the 11-year-old girl was questioned by police about the incident and it was then that she admitted to assaulting the boy, though police would not confirm if she used a weapon and they did not go into details about the attack. Police said the girl had not cared for Paxton before, but they noted that in Maryland a person must be at least 13 years old to babysit.
On February 26, Paxton's family was told by medical staff that the boy was unresponsive and that nothing could be done to revive him.
Speaking of the moment before her son was taken off life support, Paxton's mother told reporters that she did at least get the chance to say goodbye to her boy. “I got in the room for a second by myself," Paxton's mother told NBC 4, "and I talked to him and I said, ‘Baby, you don’t have to fight no more. You don’t have to fight for Mommy no more. I’m at peace. I know you wasn’t here forever. God gave you to me to borrow. It would be selfish to leave you on life support.'"
Paxton died on Thursday, and while his family mourned his death, police worked to piece together exactly what happened and what motive the girl had for inflicting such pain on another child.
“I don’t know what motive there would be in a situation like this for an 11-year-old to intentionally inflict injuries on a 1-year-old,” Reilly said. “There are no words. There is no reason for this to take place.”
He added that neither he nor the other homicide detectives could remember another case where the suspect was quite as young as this girl, making the case a "very unique situation involving a juvenile.”
The girl is now in a juvenile facility and is facing charges of first-degree child abuse. Speaking of whether the girl's mother would also face charges, Reilly couldn't confirm that that would happen.
"We are still looking at a lot of different things," he said. "I can't say yes. I can't say no." The incident happened while Paxton was in the "sole caring custody" of the 11-year-old, and police said this whole dreadful event was just a tragic accident.
Reilly reiterated that the two families are not related but were on friendly terms when this happened and that Paxton had spent time at their home before, just not in the sole care of the 11-year-old daughter. "It was an innocent friendly agreement that turned absolutely tragic," he said.
Paxton's family members are mourning the loss of their little boy. "The pain caused to our family is unspeakable," Paxton's aunt wrote on his GoFundMe page. "He was a happy, energetic and loved little boy that just turned one on February 8th. Unfortunately, his life was snatched away so suddenly."
The family is trying to raise funds to pay for the child's funeral and have decided to share his story to raise awareness of what happened to their little boy.
"Our little guy was taken from us in the absolute worst way, and we hope that his story will bring awareness to child-on-child crimes," the aunt added.
This post was originally published on Mom.me sister site CafeMom.