MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The father of a two-month-old Belle Plaine, Minn. boy has been charged with murder in connection with the infant’s death.
Joshua Scott Sundblad, 24, has been charged with one count of third-degree murder.
According to the criminal complaint, around 5:22 p.m. on May 9 police responded to a call of a baby not breathing in the 200 block of S. Elk Street.
Upon arrival, police encountered Sundblad who, they said, calmly led them downstairs where the infant and his mother were.
The baby was lying on his back on a chest of drawers next to his crib. His skin was a dark shade of purple.
Police said officials began chest compressions and administration of oxygen. While the baby’s skin turned a normal color, he was still not breathing.
He was then taken to Minneapolis Children’s Hospital where he later died.
According to the criminal complaint, the boy’s mother said she had been at work and when she came home on her break she found Sundblad sleeping with the boy. She told police the infant was purple.
She began yelling and said that Sundblad “flew up” when he realized what she was yelling about. She told police Sundblad began chest compressions while she checked for breathing.
Police then spoke with Sundblad who said he had been sleeping in the bed with the baby when the boy’s mother came home. He said he woke up because she was “freaking out.”
The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office performed an autopsy and found multiple injuries to the skull, multiple rib fractures and a wrist fracture.
During further investigations, Sundblad told officials that the boy had been fine his first month but then began to get fussy.
The criminal complaint states that Sundblad said his mother told him that it could have something to do with the ribs. Which he reasoned was the cause of the rib fractures.
He later told police they were from him squeezing the infant to get a reaction when the boy’s eyes had rolled back into his head after Sundblad hit the boy’s head on his knee.
He told police he could not explain the skull injuries, but later said the injuries occurred when was bouncing the boy on his knee.
The criminal complaint states, he said while bouncing the boy, the baby slipped out of his hands and hit his head on his knee.
Sundblad said the infant also hit his head on Sundblad’s knees during a feeding when the boy was crying but would not eat. Sundblad said he dropped the infant on his knee about four times.
According to the criminal complaint, Sundblad said he was pretty sure that caused the injury as the infant’s eyes rolled back into his head, and he stopped when he realized what he was doing.
Sundblad then told police the wrist fracture was from when he was changing the boy. He said he was trying to get the infant’s arm out of his clothes but the sleeve got stuck on the wrist. Sundblad said he tugged on the infant’s arm and believed that was where the injury came from.
According to the criminal complaint, Sundblad said the day the infant died he was in a good mood and had not been rough with the child.
He said after changing the boy he wrapped him up tightly, but not over his mouth. He said he it may have been too tight, but didn’t believe it was tight enough to cause breathing issues.
The boy’s mother said that when she got home the wrapping had been over the baby’s mouth.
According to the criminal complaint the medical examiners ruled the boy’s death a homicide.
If found guilty, Sundblad could face up to 25 years in prison.