Indiana boy, 13, accused of smothering two toddler siblings to death wanted to 'free them from Satan'

Nickalas James Kedrowitz, now 15, has been charged with two counts of murder and will be tried as an adult.


                            Indiana boy, 13, accused of smothering two toddler siblings to death wanted to 'free them from Satan'
(Getty Images)

OSGOOD, INDIANA: An Indiana boy who was accused of smothering his two young siblings to death has been charged with two counts of murder and will be tried as an adult.

Authorities had first responded to the Osgood home of then-13-year-old Nickalas James Kedrowitz on May 1, 2017, in response to a call about his half-sister, 23-month-old Desiree McCartney, being unresponsive, according to the Indianapolis Star.

She was first transported to a hospital in Batesville, Indiana, before being moved to Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, where she was declared dead on May 6. At the time, an autopsy failed to determine the cause of death.

On July 4 that year, authorities were once again dispatched to the home on reports of another unresponsive child, Kedrowitz's 11-month-old stepbrother Nathaniel Ritz. The infant was transported to a Batesville, Indiana, hospital for treatment, and was pronounced dead on July 21. 

A doctor at the hospital said Nathaniel's heart had completely stopped 20 to 30 minutes before emergency personnel even arrived. However, an autopsy could not determine the cause of the death this time around either. 

Kedrowitz first came under suspicion for his siblings' death almost a month-and-a-half later when Desiree's mother, Christina McCartney, called an Indiana State Police detective and told him that the 13-year-old had "mutilated a kitten to the point of almost killing it" at his aunt's and uncle's home.

She said that when the aunt and uncle decided to take the kitten somewhere to kill it to put an end to its suffering, he asked to go with them so he could "see the kitten's brains splatter everywhere."

In the weeks after that incident, Dr. Linda McIntire, a Shelbyville-based psychologist, told police she thought Kedrowitz might have killed his siblings. In her report, she said the teen had made multiple statements about "freeing his siblings from Satan and Hell," as well as violent themes involving "large knives and burning fire."

When police interviewed him, he said he had dreamed about Desiree and Nathaniel after they died — he told them about a dream where he used the help of an angel to save them "from hell and the chains of fire."

He said he didn't want them to live in the hell he lived in. When asked what hell was to him, he reportedly responded, "Chores."

Kedrowitz told police he didn't want to hurt them but had to "set them free from this hell." He revealed he killed Nathaniel by putting a blanket over his head, and Desiree by putting a towel over hers.

In January 2018, amended autopsy reports ruled that both children had died of asphyxia due to smothering, and ruled their deaths a homicide.

Earlier this month, five doctors testified on the now-15-year-old Kedrowitz's competency to stand trial, with three telling the judge that he was not. However, the judge sided with the two who said otherwise, and he was charged as an adult. 

His jury trial is scheduled to start on February 18, 2020.

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