LAYTON, Utah -- A Utah toddler died from injuries that police said were caused by his mother's boyfriend during a potty training incident.
Police were notified of the abuse when James Sieger Jr., 2, was unresponsive and covered in bruises when he arrived at Davis County hospital on Saturday.
The boy, who suffered severe internal injuries, was flown to Primary Children's Hospital in critical condition. After several surgeries, the boy died Monday morning, KSTU reported.
According to court documents, the boy was abused by his mother, Jasmine Bridgeman, 23, and her boyfriend, Joshua Schoenenberger, 34. Documents said the abuse happened at Shoenenberger’s home.
“Certainly the injuries looked like the result of abuse and the biological mother and her boyfriend were the ones who brought the child in and their stories were not matching up or making sense with what we were seeing,” Layton police Lt. Travis Lyman said.
Some of the abuse was a result of attempts to potty train the toddler, according to court documents. Lyman said the latest incident happened Friday during a potty-training incident.
According to jail documents, the boy defecated in his diaper and the couple became furious, even taking the diaper off and smearing it in his face, KUTV reported.
Documents state Schoenenberger continued to beat the boy while Bridgeman went outside to smoke a cigarette.
“The biological mother did allow significant amount of abuse to go on without intervening, but also engaged in it herself,” Lyman said.
Police said the couple brought the boy to the Davis County hospital and reported he had almost drowned in the bathtub. The boy had internal bleeding, bruising to his legs, groin, arms and head.
“There are no words. There are no words what this baby went through and the pain he suffered,” said his aunt Nicole Sieger.
His grandmother says she saw the boy at the store with his mom last month with a big bruise on his face.
“He had a bruise on his cheek a pretty big one,” Krista Sieger said.
Krista Sieger said she called Layton police to report it and the father said he called the Department of Child and Family Services, but nothing ever came of it.
“We could have stopped this whole thing,” Krista Sieger said.
“Very upset. We have been trying for a long time to get those kids out of that situation,” James Sieger said.
Lyman said according to records, police got a call from the grandmother on April 16, but he said police tried to get back to her but were unable to do so.
He said the issue was brought up to the Department of Child and Family Services, but the mother’s whereabouts could not be found. No one knew where she was.
A spokeswoman for the DCFS told KUTV it is not able to talk about individual cases because of confidentiality reasons.
James Sieger said he was living with Bridgeman in Georgia four months ago and she suddenly just vanished with 2-year-old boy and their 5-month-old child. He did not know where she was at until his mother spotted them in the store in Utah.
Schoenenberger and Bridgeman are at the Davis County Jail and are expected to be charged with homicide.