MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (WDTN) – Police say one of two young brothers found badly hurt at a Middletown, Ohio motel has died. The 5-year-old was pronounced dead at 8:02 Friday morning.
The two were beaten by three women over a 22-hour span and so badly injured by the alleged abuse that responding police and paramedics were left in tears, Middletown police said.
The mother of the two children, Theresa Hawkins-Stephens, 26, and her friend Rachael Bostian, 29, each are now facing a murder charge as well as two counts of felonious assault and two counts of endangering children. Bond for them has been set at $1 million. Bostian’s mother, Ramona Bostian, 56, is charged with felonious assault and child endangering. Her bond is $500,000.
Middletown police Maj. Mark Hoffman said Thursday that investigators believe the 5- and 6-year-old boys were wrapped in sheets and beaten after one took food.
Police say officers responded Wednesday to a 911 call about an unresponsive child and found the younger boy with life-threatening injuries and his seriously-injured brother, hidden under a blanket.
Preliminary hearings for each of the women has been set for Friday, May 6.