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Babysitters jailed for toddler’s beating death claimed he fell down stairs; boy’s mom charged for failing to protect him: Prosecutor

An Ohio mother and two babysitters are facing criminal charges after authorities said a 3-year-old boy died from multiple traumatic injuries while in the sitters’ care—a place a pediatrician reportedly told the mother to stop taking him to after discovering concerning wounds.

WICU and WSEE reported that mother and daughter Valorie D. Olah and Samantha M. Olah claimed Brantley Santiago fell down a flight of stairs at their home. However, his April 25 death was deemed a homicide; an autopsy completed in August found he suffered blunt force injuries of his head, trunk, and extremities in addition to brain, skeletal, and soft tissue injuries.

“Medical evidence demonstrates that the injuries sustained by Brantley which led to his death could not have been exclusively caused by a fall down a flight of stairs, as alleged by the Olahs,” Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Nicholas Iarocci said in a statement issued to the Star Beacon. “Evidence exists to show that the child exhibited other injuries sustained while in the care of the Olahs prior to April 25, 2018, incident.”

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A few days before the deadly incident, a pediatrician reportedly told Beverly J. Santiago to avoid leaving her son with the Olahs after discovering suspicious injuries. Despite this, the mother went to work and placed Brantley in the pair’s care on the day he was killed; prosecutors have since accused her of “violating her duty of care,” according to the outlet.

The Olahs were indicted Thursday on charges of murder, involuntary manslaughter, felonious assault, and endangering children. Meanwhile, the slain boy’s mother was indicted on involuntary manslaughter and endangering children charges. The three women pleaded not guilty to all charges.

A judge also denied the defense’s request to allow Samantha to have contact with her toddler son, according to the Beacon.

Magistrate Benjamin Marley said, “The defendant is not to have contact with any minors and there will not be an exception for her child.”

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[Featured Image: Brantley Santiago/Facebook]