WARNING: The details of this story are very disturbing and will upset some readers.
Police in Layton, Utah, are reporting that a two-year-old toddler died from injuries caused by his mother’s boyfriend during potty training.
The boy, James Sieger Jr. — a.k.a. JJ — was brought to a Davis County hospital Saturday morning by his mother, Jasmine Bridgeman, 23, and her boyfriend, Joshua Schoenenberger, 34. Police say the child was unresponsive and covered in bruises. Doctors went into action and were able to gain a pulse. They then had the child flown to Primary Children’s Hospital in “extremely critical” condition. Unfortunately, on Monday morning, and after numerous emergency surgeries, the child died.
“Certainly the injuries looked like the result of abuse,” said Layton police Lt. Travis Lyman in the video above. “And the biological mother and her boyfriend were the ones who brought the child in, and their stories were not really matching up or making sense with what we were seeing.”
Schoenenberger eventually admitted that he got physical with JJ after the child pooped in his diaper.
According to The Daily Mail, the police report states that Schoenenberger “smeared the poop from the diaper in (the boy’s) face.” Schoenenberger then admitted to detectives that he was in the bathroom holding JJ by the waist and talking to him about potty training when the child urinated on him and defecated in the tub. At that point Schoenenberger allegedly dropped JJ “outside of the tub, onto the tile floor, from eye level,” and stepped on the boy’s stomach “out of frustration with how (he) treats his home.”
There have been reports that the 34-year-old had used drugs in the past, and he admitted to having used heroin regularly, but there is no proof at this time that he was high when the abuse took place.
Bridgeman, the mother, admitted to police that her boyfriend told her to lie to investigators about the incident.
The boy’s birth father, James Sieger Snr., made a tearful appearance at a press conference on Monday, describing his son’s death as the “worst and most difficult day of my life.” Sieger and Bridgeman were still married and also have a 5-month-old daughter, but Bridgeman allegedly left him four months ago and her whereabouts were unknown until recently. Sieger had been trying to regain custody of his children, but since JJ’s death their daughter has been placed in foster care.