HOUSTON — A Texas mother has been charged with endangering a child after allegedly recording videos of herself torturing her infant son.
Janelle Peterkin, 23, stuffed a plastic bag into the baby’s mouth, then covered the child’s head with a plastic bag and tied it in a knot, according to police.
Peterkin told authorities that she made the videos about 90 days ago because she was upset with the baby’s father, who was her ex-boyfriend. She took the videos and photos to send to him.
The boy’s aunt, Ra’Neicha Broadnax, who lives in Virginia, told KIAH that when she saw the videos, she reached out to authorities in Texas. But when being told nothing could be done, she posted them to Facebook.
“Tell your daddy that’s what happens when you sit around and play with people,” a woman is heard telling the baby in the videos.
“That’s too bad.That’s too bad, yep, I felt the same way,” the woman is heard saying.
The baby, who only has his first two bottom teeth, stares helplessly into the camera as she continues to torture him.
“Say ‘Dad, you should have just left my mama out your bull****.’ Say that.”
Other videos show the woman holding a flame to the 1-year-old’s hand.
Broadnax claims Peterkin was upset because the father found a new girlfriend and said she would hurt the child if they didn’t respond.
Broadnax’s brother was arrested Thursday and never saw the text messages because he had her blocked. But when the father’s new girlfriend got curious, she made the discovery.
“My brother is incarcerated. His girlfriend was snooping through his phone and she saw he had [Peterkin] on the ‘Do Not Disturb’ features, so she took it off and the phone vibrated for an hour straight,” Broadnax said. “When she looked, there were over 300 messages from Peterkin and 64 videos.
“After I put the post up, someone from New York Police Department called me and from all different states, police were calling. Then a detective called me from the Humble Police Department asking where Janelle was.”
After seeing the photos, police went to a day care to check on the baby.
Broadnax said her brother, who has three children, had no idea his son was being abused. The brother learned about Jaiden’s abuse while watching television in jail.
“My brother was watching TV and saw me on the news and thought it was for my other brother’s baby until he heard his son cry,” Broadnax said.
A judge issued an order of protection saying Peterkin cannot be within 200 feet of the child. Peterkin was released from jail after posting a $15,000 bond.
In addition to endangering a child, KIAH reports the district attorney’s office has since added deadly weapon and assault of a family member by impeding breath to its case against Peterkin.