SPRINGVILLE, N.Y. (WIVB) – A 1-year-old boy is dead and his 16-year-old babysitter has been charged with murder.
The Erie County Sheriff’s Office says the teen, who News 4 has learned is 16-year-old Dylan Schumaker, was watching his 19-year-old girlfriend’s child at their home on Cochran Avenue in Springville Tuesday night. The child, identified as Austin Smith by sources, was unresponsive and deputies were called to the scene. They performed CPR until the child was taken to Bertrand Chaffee Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
At a press conference Wednesday, Sheriff Tim Howard said the 16-year-old beat the young child, who would have turned 2-years-old this Saturday, to death with his fists.
“The deputies upon arrival immediately noted the bruising around the face, the face and head of the child,” said Sheriff Howard.
Schumaker called 911 himself after the child stopped breathing.
Sheriff Howard said, “The child was crying, but in fact there’s no explanation for why anyone would strike a child.”
Schumaker is not the child’s father. Schumaker had been living at the home in the upstairs apartment with the victim’s mother, Ashlee Smith, for around two weeks after Smith was kicked out of her house. Authorities say the couple have been dating on and off again for the past three years. The 19-year-old mother was away at work, letting the Schumaker watch the child.
Schumaker’s sister, Alex, said, “He got two kids dumped on him out of nowhere. He just snapped.”
The sheriff’s office says because of the closeness of the ages of Schumaker and Ashlee Smith, statutory rape charges do not apply. Smith is not being charged and is cooperating in the investigation.
Schumaker’s sister says he does not have a history of violence.
“He’s never hurt anyone before,” Alex said. “He’s my baby brother, like, he can’t do this. It’s not…there’s no way. I still don’t believe it.”
Schumaker will be arraigned on second degree murder charges in Springville Village Court. He is being charged as an adult.
A 2-month-old girl who also had been in Schumaker’s care was placed temporarily in the custody of the county.