Efrem Allen and Takesha Williams

‘This child was rotting in the bed’: ‘Bone-chilling’ Neglect Kills 3-year-old Tot, Florida Parents Arrested

A Florida couple is being charged with aggravated manslaughter of a child following the death of a 3-year-old Bartow County boy.

On May 12, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office received a distress call regarding an unresponsive toddler. Bartow Fire Rescue responded to the call and discovered the child connected to a ventilator but without a pulse. After life-saving measures, the child was pronounced dead at an area hospital.

Takesha Williams and Efrem Allen Jr. allegedly admitted to noticing significant, severe sores on their son but didn’t get help because they were concerned about their children being taken away by the Department of Children and Families (DCF).

During a Friday press conference, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said the victim nearly drowned as a baby in 2020 and sustained a traumatic injury that left him brain dead and immobile. The parents declined to turn off life support and subsequently took the baby home, with the help of a free home health nurse, who initially visited the home three times a week.

Judd said the defendants allowed the nurse in their home for a while, then inexplicably stopped answering the door and calls. The nurse, according to Judd, said the defendants were taught how to change the child’s trach and how to care for him.

When police arrived at the scene, they found the victim with a distended stomach, multiple open sores, and a visible colon. They also noted several bed sore-like abrasions on the child’s back and a decomposing odor.

“This child was rotting in the bed,” Judd said. “They just got tired of him. They got tired of the intensive care this child needed and as a result, this child laid there and suffered and suffered and suffered until finally there was no life left.”

“I have seen thousands of children abused, hundreds of children murdered at the hands of their parents. I have never seen the horror that we saw with this poor child at the hands of these two folks…You can’t even imagine how horrible the wounds, the ulcers, this child endured at the hands of these folks.”

Police arrested the defendants on May 13. Both were initially charged with negligent child abuse but on Friday, the charges were upgraded to aggravated manslaughter. Their other children, a 10-month-old and a 2-year-old, are now in the care of DCF.

Check back for updates.

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[Feature Photo: Efrem Allen and Takesha Williams/Police Handout]