Indiana teen charged in the suffocation death of his 2 brothers and sisters

VERSAILLES, Ind. – A 14-year-old Indiana boy charged in the suffocation death of his two young brothers and sisters told investigators that he killed them, so they are not in the “life in hell, that he has done,” prosecutors claim.

Ripley County Prosecutor Richard Hertel said Wednesday that the teenager was arrested last week for charges of the murder in May of 2017 to killing his 23-month-old half-sister Desiree McCartney, and the killing two months later of his 11-month-old half brother, Nathaniel Ritz, in their home in Osgood, a rural community about 60 miles (96 km) in the south-east of Indianapolis.

In a probable cause affidavit filed with the court, the authorities say that the teen, who was 13 at the time of the death, told investigators that he was with a towel to choke on his half-sister and a blanket to kill his half-brother.

Hertel said the teenager was aware of the costs that they encounter on a Monday hearing, after which the judge said he would rule on the question of whether the teen is competent to stand trial before the decision to grant the prosecutors request that he be tried as an adult.

The boy, who is being held at a juvenile center, was charged following a Police investigation that Hertel said is underway.

According to the affidavit, the teen told investigators who asked him about his siblings’ deaths ‘ he had a conversation with God about them, but he couldn’t talk about it, because he had promised God that he won’t tell anyone.”

If you have further questions, the teenager began “talking about how to save Desiree and Nathaniel of hell and the chains of fire,” it states. He then added that “he would not that they should live in the hell that he did,” before going on to describe how he suffocated the children.

When asked what that “hell” was, the boy replied, “chores” for the questions of researchers if they had seen the list of daily chores he had to complete, the declaration states.

According to the affidavit, the teen’s grandmother told the investigators that when she asked him why he killed his brother and sister, he replied that “he didn’t want them to be treated in the way that he had.” She said he also described how he would be firmly of the towel and a blanket over their heads to suffocate.

An uncle told the researchers that the day for Nathaniel Ritz the death of the teenager told him that Ritz’s father had bloodied the toe of the nose.

Hertel said the teenager’s motives remain unclear, but that the doctors who will examine him might be able to shed some light on them.

“In my time here, who is 19 years old, I’m not sure that I have seen as troubling and as last if something like this,” he said during a press conference in Versailles, the county seat.

The prosecutor said that shortly before the teen’s half-sister, the death of the boy squeezed a kitten so hard in her belly, told us that family members had scratched him.

Hertel said the suspect’s father is currently in prison and that he believes that the mother of the boy, and to cooperate with the investigation.

Neighbor Becky Horn told WLWT-TV that the children’s deaths stunned the small community.

“Our whole street, we were in tears for weeks over this,” Horn said.


An earlier version of this story was corrected to show that Desiree McCartney was 23 months old when she died, not 23 years old.

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