Couple smears diaper in toddler’s face, beats him to death in potty training accident
LAYTON, Utah — A Utah toddler died from injuries that police say were caused by his mother’s boyfriend during a potty training incident.
Police were notified of the abuse when James Sieger, Jr., 2, was unresponsive and covered in bruises when he arrived at Davis County hospital on Saturday.
The boy, who suffered severe internal injuries, was flown to Primary Children’s Hospital in critical condition. After several surgeries, the boy died on Monday morning, according to KSTU.
According to court documents, the boy was abused by his mother, Jasmine Bridgeman, 23, and her boyfriend, Joshua Schoenenberger, 34. Documents state the abuse happened at Shoenenberger’s home.
“Certainly the Injuries looked like the result of abuse and the biological mother and her boyfriend were the ones who brought the child in and their stories were not matching up or making sense with what we were seeing,” said Layton police Lt. Travis Lyman.
Some of the abuse was a result of attempts to potty train the toddler, according to court documents. Lt. Lyman said the latest incident happened on Friday during a potty-training incident.
According to jail documents, the boy defecated in his diaper and the couple became furious, even taking the diaper off and smearing it in his face, according to KUTV.
Documents state Schoenenberger continued to beat the boy while Bridgeman went outside and smoked a cigarette.
“The biological mother did allow significant amount of abuse to go on without intervening, but also engaged in it herself,” said Lyman.
Police say the couple brought the boy to the Davis County hospital and reported he had almost drowned in the bathtub. The boy had internal bleeding, bruising to his legs, groin, arms and head.
“There are no words. There are no words what this baby went through and the pain he suffered,” said his Aunt Nicole Sieger.
His grandmother says she saw the boy at the store with his mom last month with a big bruise on his face.
“He had a bruise on his cheek a pretty big one,” said Krista Sieger.
Krista says she called Layton police to report it and the father says he called the Department of Child and Family Services, but nothing ever came of it.
“We could have stopped this whole thing,” said Krista.
“Very upset we have been trying for a long time to get those kids out of that situation,” said James.
Lyman says according to their records they did get a call from the grandmother on April 16, but he says they tried to get back to her and make contact but were unable to do so. He says the issue was brought up to the Department of Child and Family Services but the mother’s whereabouts could not be found. No one knew where she was.
A spokesperson for the DCFS told KUTV that they are not able to talk about individual cases because of confidentiality reasons.
James Sieger says he was living with Bridgeman in Georgia four months ago and she suddenly just vanished with 2-year-old boy and their 5-month-old child. He did not know where she was at until his mother spotted them in the store in Utah.
Schoenenberger and Bridgeman are both at the Davis County Jail and are expected to be charged with homicide.