Entries in Toddler (9)


Toddler Steals Washington Teen's Violin

Nichola Evans/Stockbyte(MOUNT VERNON, Wash.) -- Police believe a Washington woman used her toddler to steal an antique violin from a teenager Wednesday afternoon at a local restaurant.

Mount Vernon Police Lt. Chris Cammock told ABC News that 17-year-old Kalob Tatum entered a McDonald’s with his backpack and violin after school. When he went up to the counter to order a burger, he turned around, and his 100-year-old Czechoslovakian copy of a Stradivarius violin was missing.

“When I saw the violin gone, my heart just dropped,” Tatum told ABC affiliate KOMO News. “I had this feeling that something terrible just happened.”

Tatum has been playing the violin since kindergarten, according to Lt. Cammock. The teen earned a scholarship to perform in New York this summer.

“I got a scholarship to a two-week camp and… I do not have a violin and I don’t have the money to get a new one right now,” Tatum told KOMO.

Officers searched for the violin immediately following the theft.

“On the security video that’s inside the McChevron (McDonald’s there is attached to a Chevron gas station), it showed a young girl who picked up the violin and left the restaurant with her mother,” Cammock said. “By depiction, it looks like the mother would have been aware that her daughter was taking it.”

Officers then took the footage obtained from the store and circulated the girl’s picture.

On Thursday, Cammock says an officer on patrol spotted the mother and daughter walking near a school.

“The officer stopped her, had a conversation with her and asked for the violin,” Cammock said. “The violin was then returned to the victim.”

The mother, who was not identified, faces possible charges of theft, Cammock says.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Toddler's Death Points to Other Killings

Hemera/Thinkstock(MANASSAS, Va.) -- Police investigating a Virginia man in connection to the death of his 15-month-old son are also looking to see whether he played a role in the mysterious deaths of two other people: his mother and an ex-girlfriend.

Joaquin Rams, 40, became the focus of a Manassas Police Department investigation last month when his son, Prince McLeod Rams, died during a three-hour unsupervised visit.

Police have called it a "suspicious death" while they await the results of a medical examiner's report.

Rams has not been charged.

That case remains an "active and open investigation," police spokesman Lowell Nevill said, but it prompted cops to look into the 2008 suicide of Rams' mother and the 2003 shooting death of his ex-girlfriend.

Rams has not been named a suspect in any of the three deaths, but Prince's mother believed the man was dangerous, requesting last year that a Maryland judge order his visits supervised. The judge denied the request.

McLeod, an intelligence analyst and former contestant on the CBS reality-TV show The Amazing Race, ended her engagement with Rams about two weeks after their son was born.

She mentioned the women's deaths at a custody hearing, but a judge dismissed the concerns, calling them, "smoke that's been blown that I can see through," according to court documents.

Police have not formally re-opened an investigation into the death of Rams' mother, Alma Collins, whose death was ruled a suicide in 2008. Rams, however, remains a suspect in the still-unsolved 2003 shooting death of his ex-girlfriend Shawn K. Mason.

Rams did not respond to email and phone requests for comment.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Mom Accused of Giving Toddler Beer at Restaurant

ABC News (PHOENIX) -- A Phoenix mom was arrested after she allegedly put beer in her toddler’s sippy cup and a witness claimed the child fell out of his chair in a possible state of intoxication.

Officers arrested Valerie Marie Topete, 36, after they were called to a Peter Piper restaurant in Phoenix by witnesses who said they saw the mother of three pouring beer into her 2-year-old son’s sippy cup.

“Witnesses further stated the child did drink from the cup after the suspected beer was poured and, at one point, the suspect left the child alone with the alcohol in the cup.”

Topete said she gave her son beer after he “kept reaching” for the pitcher on the table. She initially denied her son drank from the cup but later said it was possible he could have, police said in a statement.

Officers determined the contents of the cup were “consistent with beer” and arrested Topete on one count of child abuse.

Her son was taken to the hospital as a precautionary measure, police said.

Topete’s other two children, ages 8 and 4 years old, were released into the care of their father.

ABC News was unable to reach Topete for comment.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Kentucky Father Arrested After Son Left in Hot Car

Photodisc/Digital Vision/Thinkstock(LONDON, Ky.) -- A Kentucky father has been arrested for allegedly leaving his 2-year-old son inside a hot car parked outside his office.

Kenneth Robinson, 31, told police he got distracted on Monday and drove straight to work instead of dropping off the boy at daycare.  The toddler was strapped in the backseat as the temperature hit 100 degrees in the car in London, Ky.  One of Robinson’s co-workers noticed the boy more than two hours later and made a frantic call to police.

“I need an ambulance at Patton-Chestnut and Binder ASAP.  A child was left in the car,” the co-worker said.  “Is he breathing?  Is he breathing?  Yes, he’s breathing.”

Witnesses say the boy was alert in the backseat, but his face was red before being rushed to the hospital.  Robinson told police it was a terrible mistake.

This is not an uncommon story during the hot summer months.  A Massachusetts woman was charged last week with reckless endangerment for leaving her 5-month-old niece in the car for hours.  The baby survived.

Thirty-three children died of hypothermia in the United States last year after being left in a vehicle; six have already died this year.  Half of the children were forgotten in the vehicle by a caregiver.

Robinson’s story didn’t end in tragedy and he pleaded not guilty at his arraignment on Wednesday.  He faces a felony charge of wanton endangerment and is due back in court on Tuesday for a preliminary hearing.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Baby Who Survived Indiana Tornado Dies in Hospital

ABC News(LOUISVILLE, Ky.) -- The toddler found among the bodies of her family members in a field outside a home in New Pekin, Ind., that was flattened by a powerful tornado, died Sunday of traumatic brain injuries.

Angel Babcock was taken to Kosair Children's Hospital in Louisville, Ky., on Saturday, where she was placed on life support.  The 15-month-old's grandparents and doctors took her off life support because of the severity of her brain injuries, and she died Sunday at 4:10 p.m., according to the coroner.

"Angel has been reunited with her parents," her grandfather, Jack Brough, said in a statement read by hospital staff.  "We want to thank God for all of you and for your thoughts and prayers.  God will bring you and all of us out of this.  That is what it will take.  All should look to God.  The family would also like to thank all the wonderful staff and doctors at Kosair Children's Hospital who have taken such kind care of Angel."

Washington County Sheriff Claude Combs told ABC News that Angel was discovered near the bodies of her 20-year-old mother Moriah Brough and two younger siblings, Jaydon and Kendall, ages 2 years and 2 months old.  The body of her 21-year-old father, Joseph Babcock, was also recovered from the field following Friday's twisters.

"I don't even want to believe it," Joseph Babcock's best friend Justin Henley told ABC News affiliate WXYZ.  "[Babcock] loved everybody.  He never talked bad about anybody.  He's just a good person and he loved his kids a lot."

"Kendall…was found in her car seat upside down.  Jayden…was found under the rubble," Sherry Young, Henley's mother told WXYZ.  "Joseph was found on the opposite side of the road from his house.  Moriah was found underneath a tree.  Angel was found out in the middle of the field all alone."

Angel's death brings the death toll to 39 across five states that were hit by tornados late last week.

A state of emergency was in effect in western Kentucky, where 20 people were killed by the dozens of tornados that ravaged the area Friday, leaving many cities looking like war zones.  The tornados hit 19 counties and left at least 300 people injured in Kentucky.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Missing Toddler's Mom Unable to Complete Polygraph

ABC News(PORTLAND, Maine) -- The mother of missing Maine toddler Ayla Reynolds attempted to take a polygraph test with investigators but failed to complete it due to a medical condition, she said in a message on her website.

Trista Reynolds announced she took the polygraph test Wednesday to answer questions about the disappearance of her 1-year-old daughter from the girl's father's house in December.

"According to the test administrator, who was very courteous and professional, I was unable to complete the test due to a medical condition," Reynolds wrote. "It was suggested to me that after treatment by a medical doctor I might be able to finish the test, but the investigating authority is content with the general outcome of the incomplete test (as it stands)."

She does not explain what the medical condition was and could not be reached for comment. The Maine State Police department would not comment on the polygraph test. 

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Reynolds had promised to make public the results of her polygraph test after Ayla's father, Justin DiPietro, took a test but did not release the results.

The toddler disappeared sometime between the night of Dec. 16 and the morning of December 17, after her father put her to bed and before he checked on her in the morning. Police have said they are treating it as a kidnapping, but have not named any suspects in the girl's disappearance. They have said the family has cooperated with authorities.

DiPietro and Reynolds were estranged at the time of the disappearance, and Ayla was living with her father while Trista Reynolds was in drug rehab, according to both families. Reynolds was in the process of trying to regain custody of Ayla, and had filed papers in court the day before the girl disappeared, she told ABC News.

Ayla was last seen wearing a green one-piece outfit with a soft cast on her arm, which was broken in an accidental fall just weeks before her disappearance, according to police.

Maine State Police, along with the Maine game warden service, and FBI, searched rivers and lakes in DiPietro's neighborhood in addition to checking area dumpsters and canvassing neighbors. The searches turned up nothing, police said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Three Arrested for Death of Toddler in Overheated Day Care Van

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) -- The owner of a Georgia day care center and two employees have been charged with cruelty to children and manslaughter in the death of a two-year-old girl who was left in a locked van for two hours while daytime temperatures soared into the mid-90s.

Jazmin Green's death came Monday, just three months after the day care center, Marlo's Magnificent Early Learning Center in Jonesboro, was found to be in violation of a Georgia law that requires a check of vehicles after trips "to assure that no child remains on the vehicle."

Marlo Fallings, the owner of the center, Fallings' daughter Quantabia Hopkins and a teenager whose name has not been released were arrested and charged with cruelty to children in the second degree, involuntary manslaughter and reckless conduct, according to the Clayton County Police Department.

The children were taken in the center's van on a field trip to a Chuck E. Cheese. After returning to the center, Jazmin was overlooked and left in the van.

Officer John K. Schneller said it was Hopkins who realized at approximately 3:30 p.m. that Jazmin was not inside the center. The field trip van had returned to the day care center between 1:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. The temperature outside was about 93 degrees.

"Hopkins went into the parking lot and found Jazmin still in her car seat inside the van," Schneller said in a press statement, adding that the two-year-old was nonresponsive and didn't appear to be breathing.

According to, a website that collects information on child care centers, Marlo's Magnificent Early Learning cares for over 40 children of infant, toddler, preschool and school age.

An average of 38 children die every year in hot cars from heat-related deaths, according to Kids And Cars, a group that documents and studies the dangers associated with children and motor vehicles. The organization reports that between 1998 and 2010, 495 children died from vehicular heat stroke, with 2010 breaking the record with 49 deaths.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


5-Year-Old Could Face Murder Charge in Drowning Death of Crying Toddler

Burke/Triolo Productions/Comstock/Stockbyte/Thinkstock(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) Kansas City police are trying to determine whether to charge a 5-year-old girl with murder after she admitted that she dragged a crying toddler into a bathtub and held him under water until he stopped crying.

"I've been in law enforcement for 20 years and it's the youngest suspect I can remember," police spokesman Darin Snapp said. "It's extremely rare."

The girl, who is not being identified because of her age, was left with 18-month-old Jermane Johnson Jr. on June 3 along with two other children and a 16-year-old girl who was supposed to be looking after them. The teenager had fallen asleep, police said.

Police originally ruled the death an accident, but it turned into a potential homicide investigation after the 5-year-old told social workers that she held 18-month-old Johnson under water to stop his crying.

She told social workers that she dragged Johnson into the tub, still full of water from when the children took baths earlier that evening, police said.

Police were called to the drowning just before midnight Friday, when the adults returned home and found the boy dead.

"As of right now yes, from her statement, she is a possible suspect," Snapp said.
Snapp said a final decision on how to handle the case will be made by prosecutors after the medical examiner's report is released, a process that could take up to eight weeks.

The victim's family has taken to Facebook to express its grief and issue a plea for donations in the infant's honor.

The highly unusual case was referred to the Jackson County's family courts division and the girl has not been arrested, but she remains a person of interest to police.

Officials are also looking into the welfare of other children in the home and the decision to leave the children alone Friday, according to Snapp. The 16-year-old left in charge of the children reportedly had mental disabilities.

An adult left the children in the care of the teenager in order to travel to a bus station to pick up a relative.

The ABC News affiliate in Kansas City, KMBC-9, spoke to neighbors near the red-brick home where the drowning occurred, one of whom said the family was nice, but that she had experienced troubles with the young girl prior to the drowning.

"She would throw rocks and sticks at them," neighbor Patricia Lewis told KMBC, referring to her small dogs. "They'd get real upset with her."

Others expressed sadness that the death occurred, and horror that a 5-year-old may now face charges.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Tipsy Toddler: Detroit Restaurant Mistakenly Serves Alcohol to Child

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(DETROIT) -- It was toward the end of their meal at an Applebee's restaurant in Detroit when Taylor Dill-Reese noticed something odd about her son, D.J.

The 15-month-old boy was acting strangely, his mother said.

"He was saying hi and bye to the walls," she said.  "He eventually laid his head down on the table and we thought maybe he was just sleepy."

Maybe so, but the toddler was also drunk.  He had been served alcohol mixed in with his apple juice.

Police said it was an accident; a mislabeled bottle at the bar was poured into a cup for the child.  Applebee's said it's looking into the matter.

"Obviously, any situation like this is unacceptable," Applebee's said in a written statement.  "We are working with local authorities and conducting our own investigation to assess exactly what happened."

Applebee's has been in this situation before.  In 2006, a New York City Applebee's admitted accidentally serving a five-year-old a Long Island iced tea alcoholic drink instead of apple juice.  A year later, a California restaurant served a margarita to a toddler in a covered, plastic sippy cup.  Again, the patrons had ordered apple juice.

In Detroit, after realizing what had happened, Dill-Reese said her son was taken to the hospital.  The toddler was found to have a 0.1 blood alcohol level, well above the legal limit for an adult to drive.

His mother said the child is now fine but Dill-Reese, who is 18 and too young to drink legally in Michigan, doesn't understand how something like this could have happen.

"Nobody at the table ordered alcoholic drinks; we can't, so he definitely shouldn't have received one," Dill-Reese said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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