Pennsylvania toddler dies after sexual abuse by mum and boyfriend left him with fractured skull, bleeding rectum

The couple was arrested after Mikel died from his injuries post spending almost a month in the ICU


                            Pennsylvania toddler dies after sexual abuse by mum and boyfriend left him with fractured skull, bleeding rectum
(Westmoreland County Prison)

NEW KENSINGTON, PENNSYLVANIA: A mother has been charged following the death of her three-year-old son who was in the ICU for almost a month with a brain bleed. Mikel was allegedly physically and sexually abused by his mother and her paramour before he was admitted to a hospital.

The toddler was hospitalized on March 26 and died from his injuries almost a month later on April 24. His mother, Teresa Fetterman, was charged on Wednesday, May 13, with involuntary manslaughter among other charges after his death.

According to reports, Mikel was hospitalized after an unidentified person called for help around 1 am on March 26. When investigators arrived they found the child unresponsive and rushed him to UPMC Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh.

Doctors reportedly said that when Mikel was admitted he had a skull fracture, bleeding outside the brain, oral trauma, numerous bruises, fractures in various stages of healing, and bleeding at the rectum. The medical team also claimed that the young boy had been a victim of abuse on more than one occasion since some of his injuries were old, with some having been documented by hospital or doctor office reports. Following his death, an autopsy stated that the child died from blunt force trauma to the head. Evidence also showed that Mikel had been sexually abused.

The 23-year-old Fetterman’s arrest comes after her paramour, Keith Lilly Jr, was charged with homicide and sexual assault in connection with Mikel's death. Lilly was also reportedly charged with endangering the welfare of children, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child, two counts of aggravated assault, and more. However, details of those charges have not been revealed.

Lilly was taken into custody on April 3 in connection with the incident. As per court documents, police, who earlier thought Lilly was the stepfather of Mikel, described him as Fetterman’s “paramour.” While New Kensington police Chief Bob Deringer said on Thursday, May 14, that the exact status of Lilly and Fetterman’s relationship was not clear.

Fetterman told investigators that Lilly was living with her and Mikel since October or November 2019. She also alleged that the man had been aggressive toward her and also used to beat their dog and that Mikel was hurt more often since Lilly started living with them. The mother claimed that she was aware that Lilly had punched her son in the chest once or twice as a method of discipline. Mikel also suffered two black eyes while in his care, which Lilly blamed on the dog or some other accident, Fetterman alleged in her statement to the police. Despite knowing his aggressive behavior, the woman admitted that she left Mikel alone in Lilly’s care while she was at work and at other times.

In connection with the case, police also interviewed a witness whose identity has not been revealed. The unidentified witness claimed to have heard Lilly smack the boy and saw Fetterman punch him on the buttocks with a closed fist during a visit in December 2019. Westmoreland County detectives also searched the apartment on March 26 which the couple shared and found beer cans, smoking pipes, tobacco, and marijuana spread on the floor.

Both were being held in the Westmoreland County Prison. While Fetterman’s preliminary hearing has been scheduled for May 28, Lilly has a preliminary hearing set for July 9.

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