RIPLEY COUNTY, Ind. (TCD) -- A teen boy was found guilty Monday of killing his 23-month-old half-sister and 11-month-old stepbrother less than three months apart, both of whom he reportedly suffocated.
According to WXIX-TV, Nickalas Kedrowitz was tried as an adult in the deaths of Desiree McCartney and Nathaniel Ritz even though he was 13 when the crimes occurred. He will reportedly face 45 to 65 years in prison for each murder count, WXIX reports.
The Indianapolis Star reports authorities received a call in Osgood about an unresponsive child on May 1, 2017, later identified as Desiree McCartney. She was taken to a hospital in Batesville, Indiana, then transferred to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. She died five days later.
WXIN-TV reports the coroner’s office determined Desiree’s cause of death was suffocation by smothering. According to WLWT-TV, Kedrowitz reportedly told investigators he suffocated Desiree with a towel after she got out of the bath.
About two and a half months after Desiree’s death, emergency personnel responded to Kedrowitz’s family home on July 20, 2017. According to the Indianapolis Star, 11-month-old Nathaniel was taken to a hospital in Batesville where he was pronounced dead at 12:12 a.m. on July 21. WXIN reports Nathaniel’s cause of death was also determined to be suffocation by smothering.
According to the Indianapolis Star, not long after Nathaniel’s death, Kedrowitz’s mother reportedly told an Indiana State Police detective Kedrowitz "mutilated a kitten to the point of almost killing it." Kedrowitz’s aunt reportedly said his temper reminded her of the Hulk.
Kedrowitz was arrested in August 2018 and charged with two counts of murder.
Court documents cited by the Indianapolis Star said Kedrowitz reportedly spoke about "freeing his siblings from Satan and Hell." He also reportedly said he felt he had to "set them free from this hell," with hell reportedly referring to "chores," court documents said.
McCartney said, "[Kedrowitz] witnessed him being mean to the babies. That he pushed them down on purpose. He would lock them up in the bedroom to try to shut them up. He painted a pretty bad picture. As a mom that’s hard to swallow that was going on and I didn’t know."