THE family of an 18-month-old boy allegedly murdered by his foster mom have slammed her claim that he killed himself by jumping out of a bathtub.
Henry Anderson died last month after nurse Kellie Jo Anderson, 35, brought his “lifeless” body to a hospital in Fargo, North Dakota.
Kellie Jo, from Barnesville, Minnesota, is the wife of the cousin of Henry’s biological mother, and had recently offered to adopt the toddler.
She told doctors that Henry often self-injured, and that he had suffered a seizure and thrown himself between a bathtub and a toilet as she bathed him at home.
After examining Henry, doctors concluded that his injuries were consistent with physical abuse and contacted the police.
An autopsy later found that the boy had died from asphyxiation associated with blunt-force trauma and ruled his death a homicide.
Anderson has since been arrested and charged with second-degree murder.
Speaking to the Metro, a spokesperson for Henry’s family have said they do not believe he harmed himself in “any way, shape, or form”.
“Henry did not have self-harming tendencies outside of typical toddler tantrums,” the spokesperson said.
“Even with the tantrums, he did not ‘throw himself around’.
“His grandma Kayla had no issues when she would bathe him and Henry enjoyed bath time when he was with her.
“Our family does not believe in any way, shape, or form that Henry inflicted the injuries that caused his death on himself.”
‘WE TRUSTED HER’
Henry was given up by his biological mother, who suffers from drug addiction, after he tested positive for an illegal drug following his birth.
He initially stayed with his grandmother before Kellie Jo offered to adopt him amid concerns about whether his grandmother would be able to care for him in the long-term.
Henry’s family are said to have been excited that he would remain part of the family and they would all get to watch him grow.
“The situation was perfect”, the spokesperson said.
“Kellie needs to be held accountable to what she did to a vulnerable child.
“Henry trusted her, we trusted her and now a little life is gone.”
Anderson is now being held on a $500,000 bond, with her next court appearance scheduled for June 11.
She faces a maximum sentence of 40 years in jail if convicted.
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