WEST JORDAN, Utah, Oct. 22, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — A West Jordan woman accused in the murder of her 13-day-old baby has been arrested in Georgia, officials confirmed Sunday afternoon.
Marie Elena Sullivan, 26, who faces charges of murder, a first degree felony, and child abuse — infliction of serious physical injury intentionally, was arrested without incident, Sgt. Marianne Kelly of the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office in Georgia confirmed. Kelly said Sullivan was seeking treatment at a hospital, and the staff became aware that she was wanted. When she was released from hospital, she was arrested and was being booked into jail Sunday afternoon.
Kelly said Sullivan will appear before a judge in Georgia, then the question of her extradition to Utah will be addressed.
Sullivan’s boyfriend, Dylan James Kitzmiller, 21, was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail Saturday on the same charges as Sullivan.
The two are charged in the death of the baby, identified in court papers as A.S.K., who was born Sept. 4 and died Sept. 17 as the result of severe injuries.
According to the probable cause statement, the couple was living in the basement of Kitzmiller’s mother’s house when the death occurred.
Police officials responded to a call of an infant in full arrest at about 11:30 p.m. Sept. 17, and found A.S.K. on a bedroom floor, the statement says.
The officers performed CPR until a medical crew arrived about two minutes later, when additional life-saving efforts were begun. Efforts were unsuccessful, and A.S.K. was pronounced dead at the scene.
Officers and medical personnel observed that the newborn had bruising around his eyes, left shoulder and arm, and discoloration to his chin and bottom lip. A.S.K.’s left ear appeared to be bruised, raw and peeling.
During a search of the basement bedroom, officers also found adult and infant clothing that appeared to have blood on them.
Sullivan told officers that A.S.K. had seemed happy but tired in the morning, and that she had left him alone in the care of Kitzmiller twice that day. After the first time, A.S.K. seemed uncomfortable, so she gave him gas drops.
The second time, Sullivan said, she was talking to a friend on the phone while outside on a deck, and reportedly told that friend she needed to get away from Kitzmiller and his abuse of her and the infant, the statement says.
Sullivan told officers that after the call, she went downstairs and found the baby wearing only a diaper, and Kitzmiller pumping A.S.K.’s legs “in a rough, weird bicycle thing.” Sullivan said Kitzmiller told her the baby would be fine, and she should put him to sleep.
Sullivan told police she picked up the baby and wrapped him in a swaddling blanket. Sullivan said A.S.K. was calmer, so she put him in his swing, then lay down on her bed by him. She said she heard the baby moaning.
Later, Sullivan awoke to find the baby struggling for air. She picked him up, and he gasped a few times, then stopped breathing.
Sullivan said Kitzmiller used heroin daily, and was rough with the baby. She said she had seen him throw A.S.K. in the air, causing his unsupported head to jerk. She had also seen him bite the baby’s hands, and cover his airway briefly, she told police.
Sullivan also admitted she was aware of the baby’s bruises, but had not sought medical care for A.S.K.
An autopsy found that A.S.K. was dehydrated, had lost nearly a pound since his birth, and had bruises and abrasions on his face and body. He had a spiral fracture of his humerus, a fractured rib, a spinal cord injury and swelling of the brain.
“The manner of death is likely to be homicide,” the probable cause statement said.
A bail of $1 million each was suggested by the court paperwork.
Gephardt Daily will have additional information on this case as it becomes available.