The mother and stepmother of an Indiana boy were arrested after the boy was reportedly beaten to death last weekend.
Alesha Lynn Miller, 30, beat her 9-year-old stepson with a paddle “repeatedly” while he screamed, “please stop.” Miller was arrested Tuesday on charges of aggravated battery resulting in death, neglect of a dependent resulting in death, and two counts of neglect of a dependent.
People reports that Jenna Mae Miller, 36, the boy’s mother and Alesha’s spouse, was also arrested. She is facing charges of neglect of a dependent causing death, neglect of a dependent by failing to render medical aid, as well as two counts of neglect of a dependent.
According to an affidavit, the Millers initially told police they were at a Christmas party on Friday when they received a call that Elijah had been pushed into a bookcase by one of his siblings. Upon returning to their Fort Wayne home, Jenna found Elijah unresponsive and noted that he had vomited.
Elijah was brought to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead early Saturday morning. Doctors reported “multiple bruises” on the child’s face, arms, and shoulders. He had “major” bruising on his lower back and buttocks.
One of Elijah’s siblings told police that Alesha would “whoop him with the paddle” and “slam him to the ground.” Elijah was frequently treated this way, according to the affidavit.
Fort Wayne’s NBC reports that Alesha had been placed on a “72-hour hold.” Her first court hearing is scheduled for December 29.
A GoFundMe was created to cover Elija’s funeral costs. As of Sunday, the onling fundraiser had raised more than $15,000 toward its $20,000 goal. According to the GoFundMe page, any funds not used toward the funeral will go to the little boy’s siblings.