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Day Care Worker Charged In Death Of Bronx Toddler

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- A Bronx woman charged with killing a toddler in her care told police she threw the boy to the floor and stepped on him three times.

Athena Skeeter, 40, was arraigned Sunday on charges of manslaughter and endangering the welfare of a child.

Skeeter is a licensed child care professional who watches kids inside her College Avenue apartment, CBS 2's Matt Kozar reported.

Athena Skeeter
Athena Skeeter (Credit: CBS 2)

"I feel betrayed," father Carlyle Williamson said. "For my baby to be abused the way he was is devastating to me."

According to court documents, Skeeter told police she had been wrestling Friday with 20-month-old Cardell Williamson at her home after his father dropped him off.

Police responding to a 911 call found Cardell lying on a bed, struggling to breathe. Officers administered CPR and rushed the boy to Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center, where he died.

The medical examiner said the cause of death was homicide by blunt force trauma to the boy's head and torso, 1010 WINS' Roger Stern reported. A source told 1010 WINS the child was also severely scalded.

"She claimed she put him in a tub with hot water. When I saw the pictures, my baby's burnt all the way from one side to another," Williamson told Kozar.

Babysitter Arraigned In Death Of Bronx Toddler

Williamson said his son would sometimes come home with bruises, but there was always some kind of explanation for the injuries. Now he wonders if he missed a pattern of abuse, Kozar reported.

"She always gave me some bogus story how he fell," Williamson said. "One time, his shoes were too tight, so he fell down two or three flights of steps."

Family, friends and neighbors put together a memorial for the boy with candles and some of his favorite toys.

"I thought my baby was safe, and instead I find out he was not safe" Williamson said.

Skeeter is due back in court Thursday. No attorney information was available for her.

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(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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