MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The man who was charged with first-degree assault for the alleged severe abuse of a 3-year-old boy is now being charged with murder — two days after the child succumbed to his injuries.
Authorities say the toddler died on Sunday after being put on life support at Hennepin County Medical Center with little chance for survival.
The child’s mother, 40-year-old Elizabeth Moorman, of Anoka, and her 25-year-old boyfriend Anthony Urban were charged in the case. However, Urban’s previous charge of assault has been amended to second-degree murder.
Urban remains in custody on a $1 million bail.
Overnight, a fire broke out at Moorman’s Anoka apartment. The apartment had been sealed for evidence.
Authorities said the fire was not large and damaged the exterior of the apartment door, and it is being investigated as arson.
Investigators said they don’t believe the fire was necessarily started as a means of destroying evidence but, rather, may have been started in response to the criminal charges against Moorman and Urban.
According to the criminal complaint, Moorman brought the boy to Mercy Hospital last week. The boy was quickly diagnosed with severe head trauma, punctured lungs and a variety of contusions all over his body. He was airlifted to the Hennepin County Medical Center, where his injuries were found to be consistent with severe abuse.
After the diagnosis, the Anoka Police Department was notified and the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office began an investigation.
Police say Moorman gave conflicting reports on what happened to the child but said that Urban was the primary caretaker of the boy while she was away at work.
Urban admitted to hitting the child in the head while helping the him brush his teeth and said the boy fell off a stool and hit his head on the bathroom’s ceramic floor. He said that he did not bring the boy to the hospital or call 911 because Moorman told him not to, according to the criminal complaint.