POLK COUNTY, Fla. – On May 13, 2023, Polk County Sheriff’s Office Homicide detectives arrested 24-year-old Takesha Williams and 25-year-old Efrem Allen, Jr. of Bartow, for one count each of Negligent Child Abuse Causing Great Harm (F2) resulting in the death of a 3-year-old toddler.
According to the affidavit, Bartow Fire Rescue responded to a report of an unresponsive child on Friday, May 12, 2023, at around 3:00 p.m.
When emergency responders arrived, they found the child connected to a ventilator breathing machine but did not have a pulse.
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The toddler was transported to an area hospital, where he died.
The details are gruesome.
Homicide detectives observed extensive injuries on the child, including a severely bloated belly and numerous open sores.
“I’ve seen some truly horrific events in my long law enforcement career, but I have never, ever seen anything as sad, as bone-chilling, and as sickening as what this baby suffered before finally perishing from the despicable acts of these two criminals,” said Polk Polk County Grady Judd.
Takesha Williams and Efrem Allen Jr. noticed the child had large open sores, which started forming after the care of the home health nurse.
They both informed authorities that they knew the sores were extensive and were afraid to contact anybody due to being afraid they would have their children taken away by DCF.
Additionally, they stated people would assume it was neglect, but the victim is not neglected.
On Friday, May 26, 2023, the Tenth Judicial Circuit Court upgraded the charges to Aggravated Manslaughter of a Child (F1).
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