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Toddler Believed Cause of Infant Brother’s Death

September 8, 1992

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) _ A 22-month-old bit her 6-month-old brother numerous times and caused his death by a blow to the head, authorities said Tuesday. Their mother could face child neglect charges.

The boy died June 26, three days after being taken to Memorial Medical Center covered with nearly two dozen bite marks, authorities said.

An autopsy showed the bites were caused by a small child, and police concluded they were inflicted by the boy’s 22-month-old sister, authorities said.

The autopsy also found the baby died from a blow to the back of his head, investigators said.

″We believe it was caused by the older one dragging the baby off a bed to get at him,″ Maj. James E. Weaver said. ″A lot of people think that a 22- month-old can’t kill a baby, but one can. Kids can get jealous and knock the fool out of each other.″

″She probably perceived a loss of attention,″ said Nic D’Alesandro, senior forensic psychologist at Georgia Regional Hospital.

The reaction is not rare, but it’s unusual to see one that serious, D’Alesandro said. ″You’ll see lesser forms of it. It is unusual for a kid to become that enraged.″

Police Lt. Willie Lovett said charging the sister in the death was out of the question.

But police are investigating the mother, he said, adding that investigators likely will decide next week whether to charge her with child neglect. The day the baby was hospitalized, the mother told investigators her two children had been left alone in a room at her mother’s residence, authorities said.

Detectives said the mother told them she had seen the child act aggressively toward her brother before, including striking her brother on the head with a bottle.

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