A Florida babysitter has been charged with neglecting, abusing and killing a three-year-old boy in his care, after he left the boy’s mother a note saying he accidentally drowned in the bathtub – after the autopsy revealed he’d been beaten.
Joshua Manns, 25, reportedly called 3-year-old Jameson Nance’s mother on June 11, while she was at work, and told her he had drowned in the bathtub. But when she got back to her apartment in West Melbourne, she found that Manns was nowhere to be seen and had never called for medical assistance.
Instead, authorities say, he left her a handwritten note saying he had a seizure while Jameson was in the tub, resulting in him drowning.
Authorities said he wrote in the letter: ‘no one would believe him and he did not want to spend his life in prison for something he did not do.’
The medical examiner, though, did not find any evidence that the young boy had drowned, saying he actually suffered from battered-child syndrome, suffering from weeks-old injuries, including a broken rib, stab wounds to the head and brain swelling.
Jameson had also suffered a broken leg last March, and the Florida Department of Children and Family Services investigated another broken leg he had when he was just 1-year-old, according to WESH.
And shortly before he died, the department had gone to his daycare to investigate ‘suspicious injuries,’ like burn marks on his arm.
Manns is not the boy’s father, authorities said, but lived in the same apartment building as Nance and his mother.
He reportedly left the Grand Oaks at the Lake Apartments shortly after his phone call with Nance’s mother, and was gone by the time police arrived on the scene.
West Melbourne police then put up a post asking for the public’s help in locating Manns, describing him as a person of interest in the case.
More than two weeks later, on June 28, he was arrested by United States Marshalls in Georgia, ClickOrlando reports, as he was trying to escape with the help of his family to get back to his home state of West Virginia.
He was arraigned on Friday, standing silently as a Florida judge charged him with first-degree murder as well as neglect and abuse charges.
Manns is now being held without bond as a fugitive.