MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN: A three-month-old baby was starved to death as his mother sat and did nothing to save the child. Princeton Williams was found dead inside his dirty home surrounded by bottles of curdled milk, police said.
Princeton’s mother, Shantoria Williams, has been arrested in the case. She faces a charge of child neglect causing greater bodily harm and will be soon presented in court, The Metro reported.
According to court records, the toddler’s dehydrated and emaciated body was found on March 29, just two weeks after a police officer had been called for a welfare check. His body also had scratches, bruises, and a burn mark. An autopsy later revealed that Princeton’s weight was just seven pounds at the time of his death, which was less than the eight pounds 10 ounces he had weighed at birth.
However, the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office has not yet reached a conclusion on the final cause of death.
As per reports, investigators were first informed about the child’s distress by a maintenance worker on March 16, who allegedly found him crying uncontrollably while his mother sat doing nothing. When the worker asked Shantoria about the child, she said, “He’s always like that” as claimed by the worker.
The worker, whose identity has not been revealed, also discovered an unusual sight at the home as the accused bathroom was covered with feces and that the apartment was being heated using the stove.
He informed about the same to the residence’s property manager, who reportedly called police to report a possible case of child neglect. It has been said that an officer then went on to check Shantoria’s home, but it is not clear whether any action was taken at that time or not.
Reports further claimed that the same worker went to Shantoria’s home again on March 27, two days before he was found dead. That time also, he was left so disturbed after seeing the child that he took his photo and again informed the manager about the same. However, the second time, the manager did not call the police.
Now, emergency personnel, as well as social services, face a probe for failing to save the child despite receiving at least eight emergency and nonemergency calls between January and the date of Princeton’s death.
Susan Conwell, the executive director of Kids Matter Inc., which advocates for abused and neglected children in Milwaukee County, said anyone who would have seen the child in his last weeks would have easily sensed that the child was not in a good position and needed medical assistance on an urgent basis.
“We’re probably talking about a baby that looked as though they were in a Third World country starving to death. What it points to is the tremendous gaps in our system. Look at how many people touched this family,” she noted.
Conwell also mentioned that Princeton’s death is an addition to the potentially mishandled child welfare cases in Milwaukee. “We have a problem in Milwaukee. This is rare. Many counties never have even one higher-level practice review. We really have to look into how a three-month-old baby died weighing over a pound less than he did when he was born. We all need to keep extra eyes on Milwaukee kids so they aren’t struggling on their own,” she added.