During a Wednesday press conference, Indiana authorities provided details about a teen taken into custody last month, a little over a year after he allegedly killed his two toddler siblings and squeezed a kitten to the point of mutilation.
ABC reports that a 13-year-old boy admitted to killing his younger brother and sister to protect from living through the “hell” he did, according to Ripley County, Indiana, prosecutors. The two victims have been identified as 23-month-old Desiree McCartney and 11-month-old Nathaniel Ritz.
According to court documents, paramedics arrived to the children’s home in Osgood on May 6, 2017, when Desiree was found unresponsive. Less than three months later, emergency crews arrived to the home again after Ritz, too, was found unresponsive. According to their autopsies, both children died via suffocation. The toddlers lived in the home with their 13-year-old brother, their mother, and their mother’s boyfriend.
After Ritz’s death, investigators zeroed in on the teen after numerous people told police that the boy claimed to have squeezed a kitten so hard that the animal’s “insides came out.” When asked why he did that, he reportedly claimed the kitten scratched him. On September 5, 2017, the teen’s mother told police a similar story when she indicated her son mutilated a kitten “to the point of almost killing it” while over at a family member’s home.
When authorities questioned the family member, they learned the relative had a litter of kittens on his front porch. One of the kittens was later found in the basement of the relative’s home with “blood all over it and its insides were hanging out of it.” The kitten also had a puncture wound on its head. The relative said the teen was found crying. Family members decided to have the kitten put down. When the teen boy learned about it, he allegedly asked if he could come along and “the kitten’s brains splattered everywhere.”
Per the arrest affidavit, when investigators questioned the boy about his siblings’ death, he admitted to both killings, stating he used a towel to kill Desiree and a blanket to kill Nathaniel. When asked why, he stated, “he had a conversation with God about them, but he could not talk about it because he had promised God he wouldn’t tell anyone.”
As investigators questioned him further, the teen allegedly said he was made to do daily chores and wanted to save his siblings from that kind of “hell.” He then asked investigators if they had seen the daily list of chores he had to do each day.
The teen’s uncle told authorities that Ritz’s father had given the 13-year-old a bloody nose. The teen’s grandmother told investigators that the boy explained to her that “he didn’t want them to be treated the way he had been.”
The teen reportedly explained to authorities that he’d recently been kicked out of school after being bullied by a student. He also explained he had dreams that told him killing the children would prevent them “hell and the chains of fire.”
The teen remains in custody at a juvenile detention center in Dearborn County. A judge is scheduled to the boy to undergo a competency exam, which will determine if he’s capable of standing trial. State prosecutors filed a petition to charge him with two counts of murder and
Prosecuting Attorney Ric Hertel said he “wouldn’t out the possibility” of the boy’s parents facing charges.
The story continues to develop. Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.
[Feature Photo: Desiree McCartney and Nathaniel Ritz/Handout]