SOUTH MILWAUKEE, Wis. (WITI) -- A South Milwaukee man and woman were charged in connection with the death of a 4-year-old child on Friday, Feb. 28.
The accused are Jerome Millen, 22, and Christina Collado, 21, the child's mother. The pair face the following criminal counts: physical abuse of a child, repeated acts causing death (Millen); chronic neglect of a child - consequence is death (Collado).
The 4-year-old child was identified by family members as Autumn Horak.
When first responders they arrived on the scene at a South Milwaukee home around 7 a.m. on Friday, they found a 4-year-old child that "was pulseless and not breathing." The child was wearing only a diaper -- and the first responders noted numerous bruises on the child's jaw, head, forearm, and sternum. The child also suffered "what appeared to be a human bite mark" and a burn injury. The child was pronounced deceased on the scene.
Later on Friday, investigators spoke with Collado and Millen. When confronted with the child's numerous injuries, "Collado admitted that Jerome Millen was in fact abusing (the child)," the complaint says. She also admitted witnessing Millen bite the child on two separate occasions.
When investigators questioned Millen, they first told him the child was deceased. Millen responded "So my life is over," the complaint says. Millen "admitted to covering (the child's) mouth multiple times" in an effort to get the child to sleep. The complaint also says Millen admitted "'If all the injuries caused (the child) to die, it's my fault, my fault,' and further stated, 'If she suffocated, that is my responsibility and I killed that child.'"
The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office performed an autopsy on the child -- and made a preliminary ruling that the child's manner of death was homicide.